Harry Potter trademark clash over Fabulous Beasts

A game developer, Sensible Object, recently tried to trademark ‘Fabulous Beasts’ as the name of their new game. However, their application was opposed by Warner Brothers due to the name’s similarity to their new film in the Harry Potter franchise “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them”,which is due to be released in November of this year.

The developers informed their sponsors on Kickstarter that although they  believe that their product and branding are distinct enough from that of the film studio’s, they declared “fighting lengthy and expensive legal battles with a hugely well-funded and litigious company isn't high on our list of priorities.”

Instead, they have chosen to rename their game 'Beasts of Balance' in order to fulfil the promise that they made to their sponsors to launch the game this year. They also ensured that their lawyers were consulted before the decision was made to reduce the likelihood of infringing on any other trademarks in the same market space.

Despite having to rebrand, Sensible Object does not believe that Warner Bros are singling them out. Warner Bros are trying to protect their trademark from infringement and their brand value from being diluted due to consumer’s falsely associating it with other similar brands.

A trademark is a worthwhile investment as it will protect your brand and allow you to enforce your trademark rights over other companies that may infringe upon your mark. Companies should do their research and complete a comprehensive search into their chosen marketplace before launching a brand to ensure that they will not infringe upon another company’s existing brand. By taking this important step companies can reduce the likelihood of costly court cases and the risk of having to rebrand, like Sensible Object, due to trademark infringement.