Iconic gaming company Rockstar Games is currently fighting a five-year battle to get the trade mark rights for the terms ‘Rockstar Games’, ‘Rockstar Studios’ and ‘Rockstar’ in Australia.
The battle is currently against ‘JMBP, Inc.’, the licensing and production company arm of The Apprentice, Survivor and The Voice producer Mark Burnett. In 2005 he produced a one-season US reality show called ‘Rock Star‘ – presumably the reason the production company and its legal representative in Australia are opposing the trade marks.
Rockstar Games is best known as the developer behind the Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne and Midnight Club gaming series, and was first opposed for its trade mark applications by JMBP, Inc. in August last year.
The ‘Games’ trade mark application – TM numbers 1261129 – was first lodged in September 2008, while the ‘Studios’ trade mark application – TM number 1447887 – was first lodged in September 2011. Both cover various entertainment and videogame trade mark classes.
The more generic ‘Rockstar’ trade mark application – TM number 1305137 – was lodged in June 2009, and only covers Class 25 for ‘clothing, footwear [and] headgear’.
All three of the trade mark applications were lodged by Rockstar Games’ parent company, US-based Take Two Interactive Software.
The latest development occurred a fortnight ago, with JMBP, Inc’s Australian legal representatives, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick, getting an extension to delay providing evidence for all of its oppositions.
Rockstar Games has development studios based in Scotland, Canada, Japan and the US. It also owned the now-defunct Australian gaming studio Team Bondi, which developed the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 game LA Noire.
The inability to get a trade mark accepted in Australia could hinder the company if it wanted to open a Rockstar-branded Australian gaming studio.
Rockstar Games has fought various trade mark battles in the past, including a strip club operator in the US suing the company for the depiction of a fictional strip club in the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
TMW has contacted Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick for more information and is awaiting a response.