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I'm currently developing a game and hoping to sell it in the future. Right now I'm about to make a facebook page and release a trailer, and I realised my game has a similar name to an already existing game developer, "lucid games", and in their website they call themselves just "lucid" which is what I was expecting to call my videogame (lucid). But also it's a British studio, and I'm from Ecuador. So I was wondering if this could be an issue?

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Gnemlock Right, I think I misread the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Alexandre Vaillancourt Jun 6 '17 at 1:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Voting to reopen; the proposed duplicate was proposed in error, as this question concerns developer names, which is a differant ballpark. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Jun 11 '17 at 5:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gnemlock Well, technically it's about the name of a game that's similar to the name of a developer. Not two developers. \$\endgroup\$ – MichaelHouse Jun 13 '17 at 17:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Byte56, sorry for any confusion. Its still differant to two game titles. More specifically, it deals with copyright of a developer name, which again, is a differant ballpark to game titles. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Jun 13 '17 at 22:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MilesRout You're welcome to propose an edit :) \$\endgroup\$ – Alexandre Vaillancourt Jun 13 '17 at 23:30
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“Lucid” might or might not be ok for you to use.

They may argue it may create confusion in users and send a cease & desist.

Note: some companies may even send a cease & desist without a good case. Just because you may comply.


Therefore, consult a lawyer.

I will not even attempt to argue about trademark law in an international context.


With that said, you need to consider, what would be the cost of changing your name.

You might find it is cheaper to change it than:

  • Going through the process of consulting a lawyer and them telling you to change your name anyway.

  • Going into a legal dispute – which has another cost to consider – which may result in you being legally obliged to change the name.

On the other hand, there is a chance that that the name you has chosen is ok to use. You consult the lawyer, who tells you that you are on legal clear. In addition, this result is cheaper. I cannot tell you the odds of that happening.


Now, let us see… how expensive is to change the name:

  • If changing the name is cheaper than consulting a lawyer, just change the name.

  • If changing the name is more expensive than consulting a lawyer but cheaper than a legal dispute (which is probably the case)… The advice is to consult a lawyer. If you are confident you can just go to court (which is unlikely, given that since you are asking here, you are probably not the head of a big company), you could take the risk of using the name anyway, I am not telling you what to do.

  • If changing the name is more expensive than the legal dispute, you have done something wrong. This situation suggest that you have invested too much in the game – but not too much in getting a safer name. Have a look into the concept of sunk cost, and prepare for commercial failure.

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The first thing to note is that users here are mostly game developers, not lawyers, and won't necessarily have detailed knowledge of the jurisdictions that would apply to you. Since I'm not a lawyer, the following is not legal advice.

The second thing to know is that companies tend to be very protective of their trademarks. It's not because they're mean and want to snuff out indies and competition — in many jurisdictions, if a company fails to act to protect their trademark in one case, that can count against them if they try to defend their trademark against a more serious infringement later on. Right to a trademark has an aspect of "use it or lose it" in this way. So if they want to maintain any control of their brands, they have to go after anyone who comes close.

So, even if the developers and businessfolk at Lucid are totally chill and don't see a problem with you naming your game Lucid, their legal team might very well be forced into sending you a cease & desist anyway.

To find out for sure where you stand, you should definitely consult a lawyer. If you don't have the time or budget for that though, then your safest bet (much as it may suck) is to change your game's name. It's not worth the risk of having your game taken offline or being put through an expensive legal battle.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the lawyer will say "Play it safe, change the name of the game."... Just a feeling. \$\endgroup\$ – Alexandre Vaillancourt Jun 6 '17 at 1:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I also looked on facebook just now, lucid games and there is a site called "Lucid's Games" wich seems to be a small indie game developer (not related to the first i mentioned), it seems to be there for some years now, so if lucid games didnt stop them from using it, i think theres a bigger chance they wont be bothered by me (right?)... Anyway, is there a way I can find legal advice for free on the internet? something like this site but with lawyers? \$\endgroup\$ – user101952 Jun 6 '17 at 1:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not an expert on free legal resources. All I can offer is this caution: if you end up dragged to court anyway, you'll probably want to have something more solid than "but some stranger on the Internet who claimed to be a lawyer said it would be OK" ;) \$\endgroup\$ – DMGregory Jun 6 '17 at 2:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user101952 there is law.stackexchange.com. Yet, they do not take your case, the same way that stackoverflow does not program for you. You need to make very punctual legal questions. You also need to be very clear on the jurisdiction of the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Theraot Jun 6 '17 at 2:26
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Before I answer, a disclaimer; I am not a lawyer, and the law is often fickle. You can be sued for practically anything; as long as the other side is willing to front the legal fees. You should always consult an actual lawyer before making any decision with potential legal issues. It has also been noted that a company name falls under a trademark, while a game name falls under copyright. I have only looked up this clear distinction, using Google, and can not comment on any clear distinction this makes.

That said, we can at least say that this has previously not been an issue; although, in context, this actually suggests that using the name "Lucid" may have further issues in regards to copyright.

There is already a game by the name of "Lucid". Regardless of company names, you still face the issue of copyright on an existing name, and would face potential legal issues, regardless.

Either way, it is entirely plausible that the trademarked company may file for legal claims. If you are not in the position to consult a lawyer, or fight said claims regardless of position, it might be significantly easier to simply change your name. Legal dispute costs money, regardless of whether you win or lose.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ -1. Nothing to do with copyright \$\endgroup\$ – Miles Rout Jun 13 '17 at 23:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MilesRout, as per Googles definition, the game name itself comes under copyright, while a company name falls under trademark. I can not comment on the impact this has on the context, but I have added the distinction for accuracy. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Jun 14 '17 at 0:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Google is wrong then \$\endgroup\$ – Miles Rout Jun 15 '17 at 1:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MilesRout, than provide some sort of source to this fact. Right now, all I see is evidence and an un-credited user stating it is wrong, without and form of reasoning. I would give you more credit if you had some sort of reputation in the Law area, but as of present, you do not. \$\endgroup\$ – Gnemlock Jun 15 '17 at 1:37

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