New Orleans, LA asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Louisiana

Q: Why could Activision Publishing Inc. register a trademark for "It's About Time" for video games?

There were two video games subtitled "It's About Time" in the 2010s decade, Electronic Arts' Plants vs. Zombies 2 upon its initial release in 2013, and Null Reference Games LLC's Cars with Guns: It's About Time in 2017, yet Activision was able to file a registration for a video game trademark for "It's About Time" in 2020, around the time of Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time's release and register it by 2021. Why was the trademark registration permitted, and can it be invalidated due to those older use cases?

2 Lawyer Answers
David Aldrich
David Aldrich
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Shelton, CT

A: Regardless of what marks were in use, Activision was able to register this because no one else registered this mark for video games. If another party used a similar mark for video games before them, and that other party is still using that mark for video games, they could file a cancellation proceeding. To prevail, the other party would need to establish prior use and show that the overall marks are confusingly similar to consumers.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: The registration of the trademark "It's About Time" by Activision Publishing Inc. for video games could have been permitted if the trademark office determined that there was no likelihood of confusion with the previous uses of the phrase in video game titles. Trademark registrations are subject to examination for potential conflicts, and if no conflicts were identified at the time of registration, it may remain valid. However, the validity of the trademark could potentially be challenged through legal proceedings if it's believed that it infringes on the rights of others who used the phrase earlier in a way that could cause confusion among consumers.

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