Space captain: real-life corporation wants its name back

The players of the online game Eve Online manage many useful websites and services and one of the most significant is Dotlan. Dotlan provides the community with an efficient interface to exploit the game's public API.
Wollari, who runs the site, mentioned on Twitter that a real life company got in touch with him about an in-game corporation, included in his site's database, which was using their trademark. Wollari directed them to CCP, the publisher of the game.

I have no idea about the specifics. The founder of the in-game corporation could have consciously used the name of an existing company. Or it could be a case of making up a random name without knowing it already exists. In both events, the use of an existing trademark and the reaction of the company are of interest.

I was discussing yesterday with a graphic designer about logos. There are untold numbers of them and making sure the one you create is unique is a logistical nightmare. At least, the aforementioned company has plenty of search engines to identify any issue with its name. The world of pictures is not as easy to search as the world of words. A logo, like a name, is supposed to be unique. But everything has already been made. Words, pictures, guitar riffs... and cool-sounding corporation names. It is OK at some level, but not always, and certainly not for the next thousand years. How to deal with the scarcity of the resource?

This situation is exacerbated by the ubiquitous connection that redefines our society. Back in the days, we could bear the same name and nobody would know about it. Today, a real corporation can search its name on the Internet and take issue with a fictitious corporation using its name in an imaginary science-fiction universe.

Perhaps both words and logos could be assigned more insubstantial qualities. Right now, there are legal ways to ascertain your ownership of a name, but no cloaking device, no way to dampen the "signature radius" of a content on the Internet outside of the website you operate, signalling that "this is just for me and my pals, please leave me alone"; also, there is no invisible guardian angel hovering over your content on the Internet, making sure no one misunderstands what it is connected to. There is only the relentless purge of copies of names for dubious benefit to the society.


  1. Well that is interesting. I really would like to know the real company who pushes that.

    Maybe they are just frustrated that googling/binging there name the fictive one in eve online gets more relevance in the result than theirs :P

    1. I can only speculate, but my guess is they believe that not acting against other entities using their trademark, even in completely unrelated contexts, would mean they implicitly forsake their right to this trademark everywhere. Or something like that. I do not know if such a fear would be unfounded -I am not a lawyer. As a citizen and somebody with a modicum of common sense, I find the whole situation weird and outlandish.