Blizzard Entertainment has unwittingly found itself in the midst of an IP dispute after its trademark application for Overwatch, the studio’s recently announced objective-based shooter, was suspended courtesy of a smartphone app of the same name that had been submitted two months prior.
As a result, this “conflict of likelihood” may force Blizzard’s hand into changing the name of Overwatch in order to comply with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. First unearthed by NeoGaf, the documents reveal that the authority has withheld Blizzard’s application for the team-based shooter until further notice and as of the time of writing, the company is yet to respond to Innovis Labs, Inc’s claim. All things considered, it’s safe to assume that Blizzard will opt to change the branding of the game so as to avoid any legal action.
Overwatch was initially revealed during the company’s annual BlizzCon event in November, and is shaping up to be an eclectic, Team Fortress 2-like title that hopes to inject the first-person shooter genre with a new lease of life. By comparison, Innovis Labs’ smartphone app is designed for those paintball aficionados that want to take their sport to the next level. Essentially, it’s an interactive game of-sorts that allows users to attach their mobile to the rail of their gun, providing GPS tracking and real-time communication between allies in the process.
It’s a neat idea, no doubt, and one that isn’t a million miles from Blizzard’s own Overwatch. Nevertheless, it looks certain that the prestigious developer will act quickly to rectify the situation before any legal action is taken.