Spoiler Free Zone! We hope you caught the sixth season finale of the best show on television last night. That’s right, we’re talking GAME OF THRONES. In the midst of airing the multi-million-dollar fan favorite, however, HBO has been busy opposing trademarks that they argue are confusingly similar to GAME OF THRONES. One of these trademarks is GAME OF STONERS, the name for a computer game available for download via the internet.
GAME OF STONERS was applied for by Paper Street Capital LLC in June of 2015 and survived the Trademark Examiner’s first analysis. If the Trademark Examiner approves the mark for publication, they’ll select it for the Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO. After the mark is published in the Official Gazette, any party who believes it may be damaged by registration of the mark has thirty days from the publication date to file either an opposition to registration or a request to extend the time to oppose.
This is where HBO joined the game. After publication in May 2016, HBO filed to extend the time of opposition against GAME OF STONERS… and we can safely assume HBO knows how to play this game much better than Paper Street LLC. Rest assured that HBO will not puff-puff-pass this one up. This is a classic blunder in the arena of intellectual property: attempting to trademark a play-on-words of a widely successful work. Trademarks that will cause a likelihood of confusion will always lose to the original trademark. Here, GAME OF STONERS is similar in sound, spelling and word choice to GAME OF THRONES. It is quite obvious that Paper Street Capital LLC filed their trademark in the hopes that consumers will associate GAME OF STONERS with a product affiliated with GAME OF THRONES. HBO will be sure to stomp this trademark to ashes.