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Diab-low blow?
February 28th 2001, 21:47 CET by thee treblekick

Blizzard Entertainment and their parent company, Havas Interactive, have apparently filed suit against New Line Cinema...

From <a href="http://www.bluesnews.com">Bluesnews.com</a>:

<a href="http://www.inside.com/jcs/Story?article_id=24477&pod_id=10">Inside.com is reporting</a> that Davidson & Associates has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Blizzard Entertainment and Havas Interactive against New Line Cinema, over New Line's plans to make a movie titled Diablo. New Line's Diablo film has been in production since last December, with actor Vin Diesel in the lead role, but Blizzard has filed this suit because they intend to make their own movie with that title (which would be based on the original game). A second film titled Diablo II: Salvation is apparently also planned, as Blizzard has a trademark registration pending on that title.

With all the talk of trademark, copyright and 3D Realms around PlanetCrap lately, how does everyone feel about a company [perhaps more well liked among "hardcore gamers" than 3D Realms] aggressively protecting its trademark in another industry?
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#1 by "fatgraham"
2001-02-28 21:50:16
fatty@deadpenguin.org http://www.deadpenguin.org
argh, more lawsuits :/ internet==dead soon :///

(first? damn, gotta think of sometihng on-topic first)
#2 by "Anonymous"
2001-02-28 21:50:18
i think lambourghini should sue them both
 lamers
#3 by "Stinky Wizzleteats"
2001-02-28 21:52:35
kennedy@drunkenbastards.com http://www.hulka.com
Isn't DIABLO the mexican word for devil?
#4 by "MikeCy"
2001-02-28 22:07:33
mike@pcgn.com http://www.pcgn.com
I can't wait to see how this one turns out. I do think they need a quality suing by lambourghini since they've made the Diablo long before the Diablo game was created. Either way, I think Blizzard just got beat to the name in the movie industry. They could probably just tack on some kind of subtitle and it'd be fine anyways.

Hmm... I had surprisingly little to add to this discussion. I do think that copyrights should be defended, but it seems lately everyone's taking every little issue to the extreme.

Legal system is all messed up anyways... I just read an article where MS has a shot at winning their appeal because Jackson was too stupid to remain silent during the trial and decided to show just how biased he was in tons of interviews...
#5 by "spack"
2001-02-28 22:08:23
brian@cc.gatech.edu http://bculler.dyndns.org
i'm gonna create a game called "The A An Or It".  Then if anyone ever uses those words ever again in any thing they copyright, I'm gonna sue their ass for product infringement.  


ahh... watch the money come a rollin in....
#6 by "Narcopolo"
2001-02-28 22:09:07
Whoa, tough call.  Blizzard got there first, and in that trademark category (film), but names are not something you can trademark.  Diablo is just too common a word in my opinion to be able to prevent someone else from making an unrelated movie with the same name.  If the New Line film had got any elements like the game Diablo, then I'd see Blizzard having a case.  Obviously it's got to go to court.

But it's not ethically dodgy.  Blizzard is making a Diablo movie, and they have to protect their interests.  I doubt it would be a problem if the movies weren't scheduled so close together. Glad we have courts, but it's not a low blow.
#7 by "Steve"
2001-02-28 22:10:36
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
Blizzard applied for, and received, trademark for a movie called Diablo. Someone else is trying to make a movie called Diablo. Blizzard got there first.

The fact there exists other things called Diablo doesn't diminish their specific trademark on a film. They could not produce a car called the Diablo, nor could Lamborghini make a game called "Diablo."
#8 by "Steve"
2001-02-28 22:25:39
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
I can't wait to see how this one turns out. I do think they need a quality suing by lambourghini since they've made the Diablo long before the Diablo game was created.

There'd be no case, since we're talking computer games versus a vehicle. There's no possible confusion. In this case, they specifically applied for the trademark to a Diablo movie, and someone else is trying to make a movie called Diablo.
#9 by "MikeCy"
2001-02-28 22:29:50
mike@pcgn.com http://www.pcgn.com
#8, Ah, that makes sense. I'm anything but a lawyer and openly admit to knowing little about copyright laws in my own country, the US.

This whole thing does however remind me of that whole sting.com thing. I thought the artist, Sting, wanted rights to the domain name, because its his name (similar to the madonna case). I don't understand why anyone would feel they have a right to a word that is more than just the artists's name, l but also a common noun and verb in the english language.

Either way, I'm guessing Blizzard & Havas will win in the end, as will 3DR in their case.
#10 by "PiMuRho"
2001-02-28 22:41:03
I'm sure there are plenty of Spanish-language films either called "Diablo" or with "Diablo" in the title. I think there's a fairly good chance that Blizzard might lose this. Either that or New Line will just call their film "Diablo: Witty Tag Line" or similar and sidestep the issue.
#11 by "deadlock"
2001-02-28 23:09:49
deadlock@eircom.net
Isn't DIABLO the mexican word for devil?

Don't mexicans speak spanish ?

deadlock
#12 by "deadlock"
2001-02-28 23:11:26
deadlock@eircom.net
PiMuRho:
Either that or New Line will just call their film "Diablo: Witty Tag Line" or similar and sidestep the issue.

Diablo: Blizzard of Shite ;)

deadlock
#13 by "sentinel"
2001-02-28 23:34:02
jeroen@metallica.com
I think they should sue New Line Cinema for everything they've got. I mean for fuck's sake, it's a word made up of 6 ordinary letters that was used for a game once, how in the hell can anyone *ever* consider using it for something without paying the original users a couple of million dollars just because a while ago they kicked it out of a dictionary first and onto the box of a game? I can't believe they'd even try.
#14 by "Desiato"
2001-02-28 23:59:37
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Gosh, I'm waiting for the same rabid backlash as the 3DR thread....oooh thats right, Blizzard doesn't bother to respond to every troll on the net. Guess that counts this site out then!

The trolls must be angry now, only George is brave enough to post here.....well, not for much longer thanks to the assholes.

Pity, eh?

Desiato
#15 by "fyrewolf"
2001-03-01 00:03:55
My biggest problem with trademarks is that the courts always seem to take into account how well-known a trademark is when making a decision.  If you attempt to make any product with the word "Pepsi", even if it's in a separate class, you'll be hit with an injunction immediately.  And yet, a small company, like the Amazon bookstore, can have it's trademark essentially stolen simply because they weren't a national corporation.  Trademark seem only to apply to large, national companies.  The Etoys/Etoy is another example (although with a wonderfully ironic ending).  We'll probably see it again with the Xbox.

I don't think we should get rid of trademarks.  I certainly can't come up with a better way for companies to protect themselves from look-alike competitors.  I just wish the courts applied the law a little more fairly.  I would have liked Amazon to have been forced to changed their name.  I'd love to see Microsoft have to change the name of the XBox.  Spending $100 million building a trademark owned by someone else shouldn't affect the outcome of a trademark lawsuit, and yet it always seems like it does.  (Just a side note, I'm not talking about when trademarks are abandoned.  If someone doesn't protect their trademark, and allows someone else to build it up, they deserve to lose it.)
#16 by "fyrewolf"
2001-03-01 00:05:57
What's your beef Desiato?  The 3DRealms guys were trolling just as much as anyone else.  George called me an adolescent who should piss on his keyboard.  Scott was condescending to everyone while mixing up copyright and trademark law.
#17 by "BloodKnight"
2001-03-01 00:35:10
bloodknight@evilemail.com
DAAAAAMmmmmmnnn....I am back from somewhere

Actually, I didn't visit this site in weeks :P
#18 by "bagofmice"
2001-03-01 01:06:20
rcastle@microsoft.com
I can see their point. DIablo is a media experience, with possible movie rights, while a car is an ass melting v-12 experience, and not likely to be confused.
#19 by "Narcopolo"
2001-03-01 01:20:15
#15 fyrewolf:
a small company, like the Amazon bookstore, can have it's trademark essentially stolen simply because they weren't a national corporation


What happened with this?  There was another Amazon bookseller?  Amazon sounds like a common name, but it's not the same situation as Diablo.  One's the name of the business, the other's the title of a piece of intellectual property.  So, it might get repeated, but it isn't as compelling.

Also, though, didn't Blizzard release the collected cutscenes from Diablo II or I (I forget) as short animated films to qualify for Oscar contention?  I seem to remember that.  That really could blur some lines.
#20 by "The Joker"
2001-03-01 01:48:08
joker@junkextreme.com http://www.junkextreme.com
#3

I think the mexicans should sue Blizzard, New Line Cinema and Lambourghini.

Joker.
#21 by "thee treblekick"
2001-03-01 01:50:58
treblekicker@sympatico.ca www.yellow5.com/pokey
i seem to be having problems posting my full message, [i.e. keeps saying server hangup... any ideas?] so i'll try and break it up over 2 or 3 posts...

i believe that 3dr was well within their rights to fox the mod, from what i have read on the situation... whether they should have or not, well that's a different story.  to be honest, i don't really care either way... they could have perhaps scored some p.r. points with the hardcore, but like they have said before that they don't consider the hardcore as big of a market as the casual gamer.  moreover, like others have said, they may have other plans involving those maps for a later date.
#22 by "thee treblekick"
2001-03-01 01:51:25
treblekicker@sympatico.ca www.yellow5.com/pokey
as far as diablo, new line and blizzard [havas]... i wasn't aware that blizzard had any plans for a diablo film [outside from the cg cinema they showed just before the oscars last year in los angeles for consideration] before reading the article, but i find it hard to buy their claim that new line is trying to cash in [sorry] on their successful brand name.  the two properties are quite different from what i understand; it would be difficult to mistake a vin diesel starring drug dealer movie for a film [i'm guessing] set well in the past about warriors battling the lord of darkness itself... though obviously i'm not privy to the script :]
#23 by "thee treblekick"
2001-03-01 01:53:48
treblekicker@sympatico.ca www.yellow5.com/pokey
however, i can see the problem with having 2 films named diablo in say 2 years... and maybe that is what the whole lawsuit is really about.  in my opinion, the whole matter could be easily solved with new line changing the name of their film like blizzard suggested: many films change their name throughout production.  this will probably end up being the case, for, as steve wrote in #7, blizzard reserved the name first.

also, joel mathis has some thoughts on this topic over at gone gold... i find him to be one of the best gaming commentators on the web.

regards/john
#24 by "Desiato"
2001-03-01 02:09:34
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
#16 fyrewolf -- If you haven't figured it out by now, then I'm pretty sure nothing I can say will help...feel free to disregard.


Desiato
#25 by "fyrewolf"
2001-03-01 03:19:39
Desiato, I'm sorry if I ruined your play-area.
#26 by "None-1a"
2001-03-01 03:20:32
none1a@home.com
Diablo: Blizzard of Shite ;)

deadlock


And Diablo: Blizzard of poo after trying to get by the rateing boards.

With all the talk of trademark, copyright and 3D Realms around PlanetCrap lately, how does everyone feel about a company [perhaps more well liked among "hardcore gamers" than 3D Realms] aggressively protecting its trademark in another industry?


Come on Blizzard does nothing wrong. Unlike any other company currently making games Blizzard has free rain to screw up as much as they want and it'll blow over really quickly (unlike 3dr where every thing will be brought back up in two months time).

I'll say Blizzard does have the right if the trademark was filled first (if not I'd need to know what has been done on their film and how long it's been activly worked on. Anyway it will not be that hard to find another name for New Line to find a new name (hell just punch devil into Thesaurus.com and you've got instant new name ideas, oddly Diablo comes up nothing)
#27 by "jason"
2001-03-01 04:04:01
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com/
Hey this is still better than the silly "Haunting of Hill House" vs. "House on Haunted Hill"  debacle from a little while back.

I don't see how New Line can win this one. Leaving Diablo's PC success aside, Blizzard got the film trademark first, pure and simple.

-jason
#28 by "Desiato"
2001-03-01 04:31:25
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
#25 -- Play area?

Oh -- you mean the one you occupy near Worcester, MA?

No need to apologize.


Desiato
#29 by "Evi|ivE"
2001-03-01 05:17:10
Blizzard should stick to games.

I mean really.. How good can a Diablo movie be?  What will it consist of?  A guy clicking his mouse over and over again for 20 hours straight?
#30 by "thee treblekick"
2001-03-01 05:38:30
treblekicker@sympatico.ca www.yellow5.com/pokey
iunno... they create pretty good cgi, that's for sure.
if they had a good script, i could see them making a decent spectacle anyways...

regards/john
#31 by "Narcopolo"
2001-03-01 05:46:25
Trademark law, and all my TM education has come from PlanetCrap, has to do with making sure there's no consumer confusion in a category, correct?  So does anyone know if New Line has a case in that there wouldn't be consumer confusion about a Fantasy film called Diablo and a Miami Vice story also called Diablo?
#32 by "Quicken"
2001-03-01 06:05:09
geoffrey@access.com.au http://www.warmage.com/
Best defence New Line can come up with that I can see would be that the book came first and the movie has the same title as the book. It's not likely to hold since the book title is also unlikely to be trademarked but they can afford a few lawers to give it a shot. Weirder things have happened in courts
#33 by "None-1a"
2001-03-01 06:14:50
none1a@home.com
So does anyone know if New Line has a case in that there wouldn't be consumer confusion about a Fantasy film called Diablo and a Miami Vice story also called Diablo?


There could, from the article I get the feeling both would be action titles (Diablo is in essence an action game with role-playing elements thrown in).

Wouldn't the the name "The Common Enemy" be a more fitting name for a moive about a drug dealer? Or since the dealer goes by the name Diablo couldn't they really easaly use the names Ahriman, Belial; Samael, Zamiel, Beelzebub, or even diabolus.
#34 by "Narcopolo"
2001-03-01 07:04:30
#33 None-1a:
Wouldn't the the name "The Common Enemy" be a more fitting name for a moive about a drug dealer? Or since the dealer goes by the name Diablo couldn't they really easaly use the names Ahriman, Belial; Samael, Zamiel, Beelzebub, or even diabolus.


Hah, I propose New Line uses one or both of the other two devils names from Diablo II, Diablo's brothers (I didn't play it), and trademark it.  That would be pretty amusing.
#35 by "George Broussard"
2001-03-01 07:35:51
georgeb@3drealms.com
If Blizzard tm'd "Diablo" in the movie classification before New Line (or someone else did) - it's all over.  Simple as that.  It would be New Line's fault for not researching the mark, or for assuming they could roll over Blizzard and not worry about it.
#36 by "Quicken"
2001-03-01 07:56:17
geoffrey@access.com.au http://www.warmage.com/
or for assuming they could roll over Blizzard and not worry about it


Of course. Makes sense now. They probably think their big expensive lawers are unstopable and some game company couldn't possibly have enough to last through an entire trial and will just settle out of court. Guess they'll learn the hard way.
#37 by "Flamethrower"
2001-03-01 10:34:14
patch@evilemail.com http://www.oldmanmurray.com
Who said it was reasonable for companies to register normal words as trademarks?

If you want to trademark a word, do me a favour - fucking invent one.
#38 by "Foogla"
2001-03-01 12:07:32
Foogla@gmx.de
Uhh, Flamey, they do it because it gets more recognition value. A Lamborghini "Hoju" doesn't conjure the same image as a "Diablo". The trademark in itself is just to "protect" the name.
#39 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-03-01 12:10:05
sgt_hulka@hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
#11 Deadlock: Isn't DIABLO the mexican word for devil?

Don't mexicans speak spanish ?

deadlock


Yes, I thought of that right after I hit the post button. DOH!  Yes, yes they do.  Not all of them though, but the ones who bag my groceries and take them to my car do.  I took Spanish for two years, and all I remember very little of it.  My mother-in-law is Mexican and when she visits she cooks for us all and makes Taco Bell taste like crap (Which is rumored to be Taco Bells secret ingredient)
#40 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-03-01 12:19:23
sgt_hulka@hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
#15 fyrewolf
I'd love to see Microsoft have to change the name of the XBox.


Yeah!  I'm gonna go after them because of simliarity with my XXX-BOX device.  A Florida firm is already going after Microsoft about the X-Box name.


How come you never hear about gruntled employees? And always remember to pillage BEFORE you burn.
#41 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-03-01 12:21:35
sgt_hulka@hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
#29 by Evi|ivE "How good can a Diablo movie be? What will it consist of? A guy clicking his mouse over and over again for 20 hours straight?"


ROFL - Good one!
#42 by "dukope"
2001-03-01 13:04:23
i believe trademarks either die or "fail to be born" if you don't use them in actual trade. so you can't just register a mark and hold onto it, especially if it's in a classification that you don't currently deal in. if it's a trade-mark, you've gotta put out a properly classified product using the mark. if it's a service-mark, you've gotta provide a properly classified service using the mark.

either way, simply "registering" a mark is not a finality for exclusive rights.

in the end, it'll probably come down to how serious blizzard is about a diablo movie. if they can prove the wheels are turning and they're not just bogarting the mark, new line is probably out of luck.
#43 by "deadlock"
2001-03-01 13:37:06
deadlock@eircom.net
Sgt. Hulka:
How come you never hear about gruntled employees?

Because, dumbass, once management find out how gruntled they are, they fire them - hence they become disgruntled. sheesh

deadlock
#44 by "deadlock"
2001-03-01 13:42:09
deadlock@eircom.net
Just a comment on the Puntastic headline for this story, some of you may know about the Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic that is crippling the mainland UK's farming industry at the moment. Well, a case was confirmed in a sheep in Armagh yesterday evening. Armagh is part of the UK, but the farm in question is just two miles from the border with the Republic of Ireland. There's a possibility of the epidemic spreading to the Republic; indeed, there are reports that some of the diseased sheep's former flock may have been sold to a farmer in Wexford.

What's this got to do with puns ? Well, the headline on the Irish tabloid, The Star, today: FARMAGEDDON!

Chortle.

deadlock
#45 by "Gunp01nt"
2001-03-01 14:10:51
supersimon33@hotmail.com http://planetp01nt.tmfweb.nl
Hmm... I think some organization should be keeping track of the LPM (lawsuits per minute) number in the US, might be a dayjob for 20 people!

The word 'Diablo' is all too common. There are a lot of Mexican, Latin-American or otherwise Spanish speaking people in the US so the word 'Diablo' is BOUND to be used widespread already.

And, remember the original lines capt. Blondebeard said instead of "Madre de dios! Es el planeta dela mierda"?
That's right: "Madre de dios! Es el POLLO DIABLO!"

Lucasarts, prepare to get sued.
#46 by "Steve"
2001-03-01 15:21:24
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
They probably think their big expensive lawers are unstopable and some game company couldn't possibly have enough to last through an entire trial and will just settle out of court. Guess they'll learn the hard way.

That's highly unlikely, since Blizzard's parent company (Vivendi/Universal) is considerably bigger and more powerful (with more big expensive lawyers) then New Line.
#47 by "Whisp"
2001-03-01 15:29:02
#46 Steve:
That's highly unlikely, since Blizzard's parent company (Vivendi/Universal) is considerably bigger and more powerful (with more big expensive lawyers) then New Line.


You do know that New Line Cinema's parent company is AOL Time Warner, don't you?

-Whisp
#48 by "Eyegore"
2001-03-01 15:52:09
borghead@hotmail.com
That's funny.  It's like that picture of the little fish being swallowed by a bigger fish being swallowed by a bigger fish etc etc.
#49 by "AshRain"
2001-03-01 16:43:38
ikhier@wish.nl wtf.couchcrew.com
Who cares who screwed over who. Just release that Diablo movie already. The one based on the game that is.
#50 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-03-01 17:10:45
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
What's this got to do with puns ? Well, the headline on the Irish tabloid, The Star, today: FARMAGEDDON!


Personal favourite - on the occasion of Inverness Caley Thistle unexpectedly whipping Celtic, the Sun ran 'Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious'

That is all. We return you to your usual viewing.
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