Gaming Legal News - October 19, 2012 • Volume 5, Number 22: What’s In A Name? Everything!


Brand equity consultants and marketing gurus have for years preached the importance of having a distinctive brand name as it is one of the most important factors that differentiates or distinguishes one product from another. To achieve a high level of distinctiveness, a variety of brand-building strategies have been proffered, and to prevent a loss of legal rights to the brand, a number of brand-protection techniques – defensively and offensively – have been employed to ensure the brand’s exclusive domain and legal longevity. Nowhere is this more critical than in the gaming industry where often a product lives or dies depending entirely on its loyal following and recognition index.

Gamblers, or “players” as they are more often benignly referred to, pick and choose games they play because of the experience they’ve had with the games in the past or, if it is a new game, choose to engage because of the emotional rush the name conjures in the player’s mind of winning or success. So when game developers are designing a game, care must be taken to not only be innovative with coining a name that is distinctive, fanciful and extendable, but measures should also be taken to ensure the name is translatable, registerable and protectable, both domestically and abroad. The same considerations should also be taken into account when designing the appearance of new products as this can similarly assist in developing a brand.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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