Blizzard’s trademark application for Overwatch has been suspended thanks to a smartphone app submitted two months earlier.
Overwatch is looking to be an impressive team-based multiplayer shooter except for one tiny detail: Blizzard might not be able to call it Overwatch. Last Friday, Blizzard received a letter from the US Patent and Trademark Office suspending its application for the Overwatch brand. What exactly would prompt that, you may ask? It turns out that two months before Blizzard submitted its request, Innovis Labs put forward its own Overwatch trademark application for a smartphone app.
Outside of a name, there isn’t too much overlap between the Overwatch game and Overwatch app. Where Blizzard is constructing a shooter inspired by titles like Team Fortress 2, Innovis Labs’ Overwatch is a smartphone app for real-world paintball and airsoft rifles. When your smartphone is fixed to the rail of the gun, it provides a GPS tactical overlay to track friends and foes, while letting teammates communicate with each other and track their stats.
That actually sounds really cool for anyone playing paintball or laser tag. But it does put Blizzard in a bind, since any dispute would likely favor Innovis Labs. Blizzard’s claim hasn’t been rejected outright however, so there’s still time to either pick another name or make an offer to Innovis for the Overwatch name rights.