Using "Olympic" in the app name

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Marat, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Marat

    Marat Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
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    #1 Marat, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
    Hi everyone!

    Could you please take a look at my question below?

    We are almost done with a game called 'Olympic Pandaboy'. Of course, we were concerned about using the adjective Olympic for the game title because of the following:

    Here is a text from the IOC Charter (p.19):

    http://www.olympic.org/Documents/olympic_charter_en.pdf

    "4. The Olympic symbol, flag, motto, anthem, identifications (including but not limited to “Olympic Games” and “Games of the Olympiad”), designations, emblems, flame and torches, as defined in Rules 8-14 below, may, for convenience, be collectively or individually referred to as “Olympic properties”. All rights to any and all Olympic properties, as well as all rights to the use thereof, belong exclusively to the IOC, including but not limited to the use for any profit-making, commercial or advertising purposes. The IOC may license all or part of its rights on terms and conditions set forth by the IOC Executive Board."

    ...which means that it's kinda illegal to use the word 'Olympic', the Olympic flame, Olympic rings in the game itself and its description.

    However, we have tried to look for something specific about 'Olympic' trademark and copyright data but it was all in vain :(

    Also we found quite a few apps, games, containing the word 'Olympic' on App Store/iTunes. Some are free, some are paid. In some of them they obviously refer to the Olympic Games, some - indirectly, skillfully avoiding "exclusive the IOC's" words and symbols of Olympics. I doubt that all the devs contacted the IOC and asked for permission to use the words and symbols.

    What do you think guys? Will we be rejected by the App store review team if we use such a name 'Olympic Pandaboy'???

    We are planning to submit the game to App Store on Monday... and we have already created Fb and Twitter accounts named Olympic Pandaboy Lol)))
    http://www.facebook.com/OlympicPandaBoy
    https://twitter.com/OlympicPandaboy
     
  2. David Phan

    David Phan Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2012
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    President & Producer
    Vancouver
    This is a tricky grey area when it comes to the IOC and the Olympic "brand". At the Vancouver 2010 Olympics they were absolute trademark Nazis forcing companies to change their names when they've had these names for years.

    I can confirm that there are a very healthy amount of apps already in store that use Olympics in the app name or keywords. One can hope that the IOC and their lawyers have not been tech savvy enough to deal with the usage of Olympics in software. But I would not be surprised one day if they do a massive cease and desist action through Apple. Though with the London Olympics just around the corner, this cease and desist should have happened already or be happening now. As it gets closer to the London Olympics without any legal issues arising then I would feel much comfortable that your app is safe from legal ramifications.

    The best advice I would offer you is that have a back-up name ready to go. Including updates to art assets, logos etc.

    G'luck
    DP


    Edit: Sorry I just re-read your post again and realized I didn't answer your question regarding submission to Apple for review. I don't know the contents of your game, but I'm guessing you would be ok as long as you're not submitting something that is related or loosely related to the current London 2012 games in terms of references and settings etc.
     
  3. Nicor

    Nicor Member

    Jul 2, 2012
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    Argentina
    Also, you can always misspell it. "Olimpic", for instance :p
     
  4. PikPok

    PikPok Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2009
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    Wellington
    Chances are you will get bounced as Apple get especially picky about this stuff close to the events themselves.

    Outside of worrying about app approval, you are likely going to end up infringing on trademarks of one or more parties, as "Olympic" in various forms is a registered trademark around the world in a multitude of product and service categories. And presumably you are using the word "olympic" because you want to capitalise on the brand which isn't going to sit well with parties you are infringing against who will want to demonstrate willful infringement.

    You should always be doing trademark checks at sites like http://www.uspto.gov/ when you are trying to first name your game. Not when you are submitting it for the App Store.
     
  5. harkal

    harkal Active Member

    Apr 13, 2011
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    Olympic the brand of noone mentioned above. Its a "brand" belonging to Greeks and specifically to the city of Olympia. And they are by evidence kind enough to provide all the world (including you) the rights to use freely it... ;)
     
  6. Marat

    Marat Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
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    well... haha) yes, our game is related to the Torch relay 2012. Pandaboy is supposed to bring the Flame to London. *Fingers crossed we'll be fine*
     
  7. Marat

    Marat Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
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    Yup, we thought about that actually. And also thought we could change the colors of the Rings if needed ;)
     
  8. Marat

    Marat Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
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    Thank you for the link! I searched there and came across some cases. However, if we get bounced, we have Plan B with the game
     
  9. Devcade

    Devcade Member

    Feb 23, 2012
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    Short answer, yes, as long as you don't use their symbols, like the well-known Olympic rings.

     
  10. Marat

    Marat Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
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    Devcade, thanks a bunch!
     
  11. Devcade

    Devcade Member

    Feb 23, 2012
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    You can also claim parody or fair use of the word under the First Amendment if your app is satirical in nature.

    That's how people can get away with creating apps that make fun of celebrities, like Justin "Beaver".
    SNL makes fun of the Olympics every time it comes around, and they can't do a thing about it.
     
  12. Devcade

    Devcade Member

    Feb 23, 2012
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    If you want to further secure your use of the world "Olympic", maybe show some mountains in the graphics,
    or say something like "Olympic Pandaboy" comes from "Mount Olympus" or something like that.

    And never directly mention the words "Olympic Games".
     
  13. Marat

    Marat Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
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  14. mobile1up

    mobile1up Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2008
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    Technical Director
    Munich, Germany
    well, if you have not submitted yet - given the review times.. the app will get approved when the olympics have finished :)
     
  15. Marat

    Marat Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
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    true true)) but we have already submitted the app. Hope we will receive an answer before the Olympics finish haha!
     

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