Everquest 2 Fan Site Harassed By Trademark Claim

Malshandir

Legal threats demand EQ2Wire remove a character profile due to the name “Malshandir”.

Believe it or not, some MMO players craft plausible names for their characters. For every few “XXghaostfaacekillrrXX” leaping around Goldshire, there’s a player with a sensible name trying to fit in. However, there are only so many fantasy-sounding names to claim before they begin to overlap. Some poor, unassuming Everquest 2 player decided that “Malshandir” would be a cool name for a Dark Elf Dirge. Said player was indexed by the fansite EQ2Wire, which allows players to create public profiles for their characters using EQ2’s rather ample Data Feed API. However, that unassuming character name caused EQ2Wire to aggro legal threats from a German firm who claim that it violates their trademark. Not only does it seem like a questionable application of trademark law, but the character was made a full year before the trademark was filed.

Feldon, EQ2Wire’s proprietor, awoke one morning to receive a terse email from Freyer Consulting, who claimed that this profile was an improper use of their trademark on the word “Malshandir”. They demanded the removal of the profile within six hours, or risk further legal action.

After doing some digging around, Feldon discovered that the trademark was filed in Europe, not in the United States (where EQ2Wire’s based). Apparently, Malshandir Ltd. was a British company that dissolved in 2010 and whose website lays fallow. Not only that, but Malshandir the EQ2 character was created in 2008, over a year before the British firm filed the trademark.

Feldon decided to call Freyer out on his bluff, claiming that “a series of e-mails sent from a ISP address is insufficient to warrant blocking search results from a publicly accessible API. It also sets a dangerous precedent for other websites that merely index data from a third party source.” Thus, Malshandir’s profile remains online for all to see.

Source: EQ2Wire

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