Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues

The Sins of a Solar Empire Forums have a follow-up to news from a couple of years ago that Rebellion Developments had filed an edgy lawsuit against Ironclad Games and Stardock over the use of the word Rebellion in the title of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, lest someone confuse a video game with a company. Sanity prevailed, and Ironclad prevailed in U.S. court, but as they now explain it, they are under assault from Rebellion legal forces overseas:
Ultimately, the settlement discussions bore no fruit and we were soon served. For the better part of a year we moved through the legal process. While we had multiple arguments to support our case we decided to focus on a First Amendment defense. Our U.S. legal representatives at Nixon Peabody successfully argued on our behalf and obtained the following judgement best said in the judge's own words:

"...Defendants’ use of REBELLION is expressive speech and is protected under the First Amendment. Plaintiffs cannot satisfy the Rogers test; they cannot establish that REBELLION has no artistic relevance to Defendants’ computer game, or that it is explicitly misleading as to source or content. Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED."

The full judgement can be found here and a summary analysis of the judgement can be found here.

This judgement is an important result for anyone developing games and for the gaming community as a whole. First, it reaffirms that video games are protected by the First Amendment. Second, it establishes that artistically relevant video game names are also protected by the First Amendment so long as the name isn't explicitly misleading about the content of the game or who created it. Finally, it demonstrates that a First Amendment defense of a video game can be successfully applied to a motion to dismiss thus "preventing a chilling effect on speech". This last point is particularly important to smaller developers who cannot afford to enter a lengthy and expensive court battle. We are very proud that this judgement could help others in the future.

With this case resolved, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has recently allowed us to move forward on trademarking the name "Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion" and our Certification of Registration is forthcoming.
Finally, we wish this story had a happy ending. Last week we received notice that Rebellion Developments and the Kingsley brothers have submitted evidence in opposition to our trademark application in Canada and we have unconfirmed reports that they issued a cease and desist order to our partner in the United Kingdom. We fully expect they will continue this worldwide but so long as the countries they choose to oppose us in protect freedom of expression, we intend to continue fighting.
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Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 27, 2014, 08:39
nin
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Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 27, 2014, 08:39
Jun 27, 2014, 08:39
nin
 
Iurand wrote on Jun 27, 2014, 04:23:
jdreyer wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 19:38:
Does Rebellion seriously have nothing better to do?? How about fixing all those bugs in Sniper Elite 3?

Do you really want Rebellion's lawyers to fix those bugs?

Did the lawyers work for free, or did that money come from Rebellion? Cause if it did, it could have gone elsewhere. Like QA.

13.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 27, 2014, 04:23
13.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 27, 2014, 04:23
Jun 27, 2014, 04:23
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 19:38:
Does Rebellion seriously have nothing better to do?? How about fixing all those bugs in Sniper Elite 3?

Do you really want Rebellion's lawyers to fix those bugs?
12.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 23:10
12.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 23:10
Jun 26, 2014, 23:10
 
Nothing like wasting money and time when you already knew this lawsuit was going to fail. Nice job Rebellion!!
Author of the Neverwinter Nights Eye of the Beholder Series of Mods.
Now integrated into Steams NWN: Enhanced Edition

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11.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 22:26
11.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 22:26
Jun 26, 2014, 22:26
 
Trevellian wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 20:29:
Task wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 20:10:
Make another Alien vs. Predator game.

They did, it came out in 2010 and was a remake of their original Aliens Vs Predator game. And it was awful, just as awful as Colonial Marines. So why on earth would you want them to make another one.

AvP3 is regarded as better than Aliens Colonial Crapper. And it wasn't a remake.

AvP4, back to the roots AvP1 style.
Avatar 37119
10.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 22:21
10.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 22:21
Jun 26, 2014, 22:21
 
Trevellian wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 20:29:
Task wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 20:10:
Make another Alien vs. Predator game.

They did, it came out in 2010 and was a remake of their original Aliens Vs Predator game. And it was awful, just as awful as Colonial Marines. So why on earth would you want them to make another one.

It wasn't a remake. This is a common misconception because it was the same studio working on a game with the same title. (And I use the phrase "same studio" very loosely. Only a handful of the original people remain and they're all execs more interested in selling magazines.) In reality development started as another cheap tie-in with the AvP: Requiem movie. After Sierra folded and Sega acquired the game license they gave Rebellion less than a year to redo everything into its own thing to be marketed as a new AAA title.
Avatar 15920
9.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 22:13
9.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 22:13
Jun 26, 2014, 22:13
 
Trevellian wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 20:29:
Task wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 20:10:
Make another Alien vs. Predator game.

They did, it came out in 2010 and was a remake of their original Aliens Vs Predator game. And it was awful, just as awful as Colonial Marines. So why on earth would you want them to make another one.

Huh, I liked that AvP. It's a blast in MP, and the SP was fun, even if it had a few too many closet monsters.
If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. Slava Ukraini!
Avatar 22024
8.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 22:09
8.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 22:09
Jun 26, 2014, 22:09
 
Good i suppose, i'll be happy once i see Ironclad going with a quality partner however.
Avatar 46370
7.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 21:57
7.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 21:57
Jun 26, 2014, 21:57
 
Sounds like another dev to boycott (Rebellion, that is).
Avatar 6700
6.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 20:32
6.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 20:32
Jun 26, 2014, 20:32
 
Sounds more like bad legal advice from a scumbag lawyer, 'Hey guys, I know how we can make some easy extra money...'
5.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 20:29
5.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 20:29
Jun 26, 2014, 20:29
 
Task wrote on Jun 26, 2014, 20:10:
Make another Alien vs. Predator game.

They did, it came out in 2010 and was a remake of their original Aliens Vs Predator game. And it was awful, just as awful as Colonial Marines. So why on earth would you want them to make another one.
-C22
Avatar 55066
4.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 20:10
4.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 20:10
Jun 26, 2014, 20:10
 
I remember when Rebellion made the best damn Alien game ever. Alien vs. Predator 1.

But why the bawls was Rebellion mad at Sins for simply using the name in a game. Come on man. Rebellion legal execs, stop being retarded. Secondly copyright stuff is retarded. In the mean time. Make another Alien vs. Predator game.
Avatar 37119
3.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 19:59
3.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 19:59
Jun 26, 2014, 19:59
 
I'm so very tired of bullshit lawsuits about things which are obviously bullshit to even an addled child.
Avatar 57213
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Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 19:38
2.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 19:38
Jun 26, 2014, 19:38
 
Does Rebellion seriously have nothing better to do?? How about fixing all those bugs in Sniper Elite 3? No one in there right mind ever is going to confuse SoaS: Rebellion with Rebellion the developer. This is a classic case of using lawsuits to chill free speech (SLAPP), and Stardock should countersue for damages.
If Russia stops fighting, the war ends. If Ukraine stops fighting, Ukraine ends. Slava Ukraini!
Avatar 22024
1.
 
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues
Jun 26, 2014, 18:47
1.
Re: Stardock and Ironclad Prevail in Rebellion Lawsuit; Fight Continues Jun 26, 2014, 18:47
Jun 26, 2014, 18:47
 
Wow, talk about super douchey. Much as I may not like Stardock I'm glad they won. Those Rebel scum. Maybe Disney should go after Rebellion, see how they like them apples.

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