"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

An Intellectual Property Story: New Grange Horror and Newgrange Horror



My 13 year-old son visited Newgrange with our family. Newgrange is Ireland’s Stonehenge. See http://www.newgrange.com/. Afterwards, he co-developed 3 (under 2 minute) videos and 2 simple online games, and each was titled “New Grange Horror.” The videos are on Youtube and on Gamejolt. So far, my son has been “paid” $0.23, which can only be used to purchase games from Gamejolt. The cheapest such game is $.50.

My son’s 15 year-old co-developer received a two-page letter from counsel for the U.S. owner of the “Grange” mark. In response to counsel’s letter, my son changed the title of the videos and games from “New Grange Horror” to “Newgrange Horror,” thus more closely following the Irish naming convention. Even if the owner of the “Grange” mark could exclude others from using titles with the word “Grange” in it, I suppose there is little chance that the mark owner could lawfully exclude others from using “Newgrange,” which is the name of a historic site in Ireland.

I sort of think this was the wrong approach. I think the two co-developers should have estimated the present value of the future income stream from “New Grange Horror.” Probably about $1.12 (assuming present value calculations at 4%). Then the two co-developers should have offered $1.12 to buy out the “Grange” mark from its current owners. A win-win.


Seth 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SethBTillman ( @SethBTillman ) 



5 comments:

R Tod Kelly said...

Awesome.

Sardonicus said...

I am not sure that the owner of the Grange mark is able to enforce it, depending on how they are using it. But, if you're challenged again, post a comment to my email and I can hunt down someone to help out, I think...

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