UFC Suing Ubisoft For Alleged Trademark Infringement On Fighters Uncaged Cover

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Richard Walker

Ubisoft is being sued by Zuffa, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship - better known as the UFC - over alleged trademark infringements involving a phrase that appears on the back of the Fighter's Uncaged game box.

Zuffa filed the lawsuit against Ubisoft in a Nevada district court after taking issue with a line emblazoned on the back of the NTSC Fighters Uncaged box, which declares that the Kinect beat 'em up can help you "become the ultimate fighting weapon", Sherdog reports.

Apparently, Zuffa believes that the phrase is worded in such a way that it could confuse consumers, with the use of the words 'ultimate' and 'fighting' presumably a bone of contention, allegedly creating an assocation between the UFC and the game, which could potentially have an adverse effect on the reputation of the championship.

The widespread critical derision the game has received since its release in November, including our own scathing review, can't have helped matters much in that department either. Ubisoft was served a summons on December 9th, but there's currenly no figure attached to the amount that Zuffa is seeking in damages. However, the company has demanded that Ubisoft cease producing the game and destroy any material or copies of the game still bearing the offending slogan.

This is the second time that the UFC has locked horns with a publisher, the first being when EA entered the mixed martial arts arena with EA Sports MMA, which provoked UFC president Dana White into going head-to-head with the publisher last year. The case of UFC versus Ubisoft continues...

[Via Edge Online]

Comments
71
  • So what I have to destroy my copy of this game?
  • http://kotaku.com/5711835/ufc-sues-ubisoft-over-two-words-on-the-back-of-a-bad-game Srs? News is 4 days late.
  • Ya burn all your copies or you will get sued too!!! Don't! Only messing!!!
  • With how horrid the games reviews have been so far, I'm not surprised, When i played it the controls were buggy and horribly un responsive, good luck UFC
  • After a complete search by weapons inspectors i can confirm No Ultmate Fighting weapons were found! there is no need to invade.. hang on am i getting confused?
  • Wow UFC now own the rights to use the words "ultimate" "fighting" apparently... Why did EA get sued then? Did they have a "championship" mode or something...
  • In related news, Kentucky Fried Chicken is suing Ultimate Fighting Championship due to their abbreviation sharing two of the three letters as KFC, leading to brand confusion. Seriously, what is up with lawsuits like this?
  • wow you shouldn't be able to sue over something like this, Its a bad game and all but it wont damage the UFC's reputation any further
  • Meh, its not like EA can't afford it!
  • I call bullshit. PPL will try to get money out of anything these days...
  • @9 yeah but EA dont have anything to do with it
  • Wow, EA are not the bad guys for once!, there is no infringement at all, this will proberly get laughed out of court, Zaffa or the UFC do not control the words "ultimate" or " fighting", so EA are free to use it.
  • Edit: meant Ubisoft.
  • Fuck Zuffa, Ubisoft is one the most awesome studio's out there !
  • What the hell is wrong with all of you? Of course they should sue. I would like to point out that it has nothing to do with the game being 'bad', as a large number of you think. It is to do with the fact that Ubisoft are profiting from the UFC's name. Having the words 'Ultimate Fighting', in capitals I might add, on the back of a box that is not licensed to sell UFC related products, is clearly in breach of the UFC copyright. A few years ago, for a short period of time, Levi made shoes that had three stripes on them. They didn't particularly mimic Addidas, as the lines were not in parallel, and they differed in width. The three lines, despite being different to Addidas' logo, were deemed to be potentially 'confusing' to consumers. As a result Levi were forbade from making that particular shoe design any more. Much in the same way that having the words 'ULTIMATE FIGHTING' on the box, might confuse people into buying 'Fighters Uncaged' when they meant to buy a UFC game. Companies pay insane amounts of money to establish branding. They will not let other people profit from their hard work. N.B. I in no way like the UFC, before someone claims I'm a fanboy. I'm just morally against stupidity.
  • Not trying to start a war or be offensive but, why the fuck do americans sue each other alot? I hardly ever see it in the UK. You kicked down my wall (powerful kick btw) I wan $200 million dollars!?!?! What? On topic tho, it really isnt that bad, yeah it's a bit similar, but it didnt make me think of ufc until they just pointed it out =P
  • UFC just lost my respect completley.. i refuse to ever pay $45 for another PPV ever again
  • I think anybody with half a brain, or any interest in MMA would realize they're not buying a UFC game. Dana White is one greedy SOB who's probably wiping his tears with $100 dollar bills over this.
  • people it got the name on the front, not the back, take note of that people!
  • Lmao wow I like ufc but dis game makes me so not think bout it and if they can sue them then hey might as well cartoons/comics should sue em for sayin ultimate fighter bad dana bad
  • if this is the case, the why dont they sue WWE and TNA, im pretty sure them lines where used there.
  • @15 I'm sorry its hard to mistake buying a UFC game compared to fighters unleashed. A Kid isn't gonna say buy me that fighting game that says Ultimate fighting on it, they'll say buy me UFC
  • I'm pretty sure i've heard the words "ultimate fighting" tied together since the 80s when every b-movie about some cyborg kickboxer seeking revenge against a master martial artist had a blurb like that on the back. there were plenty of SNES games that followed suit too. also, these games ARE NOT BEAT 'EM UPS. streets of rage is a beat 'em up. dynasty warriors is a beat 'em up. god of war is a beat 'em up. the games in this article are versus fighters, or fighting games. i don't know why europeans can't distinguish between the two genres.
  • There is no infringement or breach of copyright, UFC DO NOT have copyright on the words ULTIMATE FIGHTING, this is a petty lawsuit and Ubisoft will win easily. How could this possibly confuse anyone? it's on the back of the north america version, will people read the FRONT or SIDE cover and see its not a UFC game, will they then look at the back and say to themselves "oh it says Ultimate Fighting on the back, it must be a UFC game even though thats not whats its called. I think the only people who would confuse this with the UFC are people with an IQ of 5. UFC/Zuffa just became petty money grabbing losers, i hope Ubisoft kick them in the nuts and send them packing.
  • @23 It seems you cannot distinguish between them either, God of war classified as a Action Adventure/Hack n Slash genre franchise and Dynasty Warriors is also a Hack n Slash/Fighting genre game, neither of them is classed as a beat em up. Please check your facts in future before insulting europeans, thank you.
  • As a second job during the holidays I work at a game store and can totally agree with this. I can't even tell you how many people come in asking if this is a UFC game saying things like "My brother/son/boyfriend loves the UFC is this it?".
  • @7 Exactly...UFW or UFC...I am reall confused over that last letter in the acronym. They are way too close to each other in the alphabet. I have now lost what little respect I had for the sport in the first place.
  • @23 since when has god of war been a beat em up? Last time I checked it's a action/adventure. I've just looked at a couple of American websites and both put it as a action/adventure so no I don't think it a European thing just you.
  • Simply my response to this is F*** off, you don't own the words ultimate or fighting it's not ubisofts fault that some of your fans are considered by you to be so braindead that they'd actually buy anything with your brand on it, and even some things with 2/3's of your brand.
  • If the UFC is getting sue happy, why not sue my school for having an Ultimate Frisbee Club because the acronym on their hoodies are UFC?
  • People will do anything for free bread. The shit doesn't even have the word championship in it so fuck em
  • #30 yeah they should sue your dorky little frisbee club
  • Wow! A stupid phrase that doesn't relate to UFC at all. UFC = a bunch of money hungry douche bags.
  • Fuck the ruler of words ?! - UFC - AND FUCK THE SHITTY GAM3!!! LOL
  • @30 LOL
  • So I can't use the word "chicken" in my product with fear of being sued by KFC? I mean seriously -- you can't just go around suing people for the simple use of the English language. Stating anything in the "ultimate" form is an easy way to state that something is of great potential -- doesn't relate to the organization at all.
  • 36 - So I can't use the word "chicken" in my product with fear of being sued by KFC? SO funny lol
  • Complete bologna. I think Dana White has been hanging out with Lars Ulrich too much.
  • @15 if you are against stupidity then why not be against those stupid enough to think that this game has anything to do with the UFC. no where on the box does it say ultimate fighting championship or UFC. you would have to be a moron to think that its a UFC licensed game. Ubisoft will probably have to put a sticker on the game saying its not licensed by the UFC
  • @24 Considering that makes up the vast majority of the target audience UFC might be losing some money here. lol
  • Absolute joke . . . Simple as that. How can the UFC claim to own copyright on 2 words from the English Dictionary, they don't own a trademark on the 2 words, they own a trademark on their Company Name, which is not 3 separate words, but rather a formed collection of them . . . This should be a complete laugh when the Courts throw it straight out . . . Trademarking English words, next it'll be suing Fast Food Companies over "Hot" Drinks, oh wait, already been done . . . !
  • UFC owns words? F U C K them.
  • Absolute joke . . . Simple as that. How can the UFC claim to own copyright on 2 words from the English Dictionary, they don't own a trademark on the 2 words, they own a trademark on their Company Name, which is not 3 separate words, but rather a formed collection of them . . . This should be a complete laugh when the Courts throw it straight out . . . Trademarking English words, next it'll be suing Fast Food Companies over "Hot" Drinks, oh wait, already been done . . . !
  • Apologies for double-post, 9 minutes apart . . . WTF?!?!?!
  • welcome to america my friends! where you can away with shit like this
  • @44 Not to be dick or anything but now it's a triple post. haha
  • x360a! the place to be for old and uninteresting news, including unupdated / unmoderated guides. [x]
  • My guess for Dana doing this must mean that his merger must not be doing good business.
  • A hack 'n slash is a beat 'em up where your character uses a weapon. like Golden Axe, Knights of the Round, Way of the Samurai. it's the same concept centered around one (or two-six in co-op) fighting off a group of enemies, as opposed to a versus fighter (Street Fighter, Tekken, Guilty Gear) where its your character versus opponent, sometime with tag-team parts but the fights are always balanced and there's no cannon fodder enemy hordes. Dynasty Warriors is essentially the same game as Streets of Rage, only with the former having an expanded field of play with more details such as stat-upgrades, horses to ride on, and balancing A.I. armies' morale. As far as God of War, the majority of the game-play focuses on beat 'em up / hack ' slash battles. Having a few mini-games and some platforming doesn't really qualify it as breaking from the established genre.
  • I also have every right to complain about Europeans using "beat 'em up" as a blanket term for all manners of fighting games. I buy a lot of games on sites like Ebay, and its annoying to spend extra time sifting through dozens of Mortal Kombats and Soul Caliburs when I'm trying to find something within the description of "(insert console) rare beat 'em up".
  • Someone should tell Dana White and UFC that they are not the NFL and really don't have to power to act like bullies, trying to push other companies around. This is bad publicity for UFC, their core audience consists of a lot of gamers. Why get into a pissing contest with Ubisoft? Unless they trademarked "ultimate fighting weapon" I don't see this going very far.
  • Maybe I should sue someone with the same name as me because people might think your me and I'm you? I don't want you getting paid by using my name F U sue time!
  • So they are suing because this phrase could damage their rep somehow? You wanna know what will really damage their rep? This law suit.
  • this is just pitiful well UFC i just see you as petty and a bunch of whinging fools now i really dont think ill be supporting the ufc brand anymore when clearly this is just going to hurt one of my fav game companies
  • really faggy move by the Ultimate Fags Cuddling "sport".They're just pissed since the UFC is gay and their latest game didnt sell well.
  • @23 You do realise that the USA is descended from Europeans right? Does Chris Colombus ring a bell? Maybe you just think that's the guy that directed the first two Harry Potter's and not the guy who set out from Spain (he was Portuguese I believe) to prove that the world was round and "discovered" America. This reminds me of the Facebook founder trying to trademark the word "face" at the start of any company or app etc. Mark Zuckerberg is trying to sue Apple over their term "FaceTime" for video calling. Seriously these companies need to pull their heads out their arses and their noses out of the air, thinking that people can get confused over the branding. The must think the general population are fucktards, when in actual fact they're the ones that are. Rant over!!
  • I actualy like watching ufc but that's just dumb to sue
  • The thing is though, to the die-hards, they know well enough that you couldn't ever confuse the two, but let's be honest... How many times are you at a game store and a mother, a grandmother, or significant other is trying to buy a game, and they haven't the slightest clue as to what they're buying? Remember folks, for someone who doesn't know shit about something will certainly get confused because they lack the proper knowledge. It's not that far-fetched to those who lack the knowledge when their reasoning is,"It says ultimate fighting, the game is called fighters uncaged, and UFC fighters fight in a cage." It's like to the average person that says metal is obnoxious noise with a guy screaming his head off, but to a metalhead, it's not noise, and he can decipher the difference between black metal, death metal, etc. Believe me, I agree that sueing over this is ridiculous, but I can understand why they are doing it.
  • @15 I agree with you completely. To bad they don't make a pill that could cure stupidity. @58 Exactly. Very well said. It's a shame common sense isn't very common.
  • i love this game, you guys need to give it a chance! it does so much. yes it has a 2 second delay,whoopie. as for UFC, this is yet anouther vain attempt to get attention. i think someone needs a hug.
  • I don't think the phrase is anything that should be a cause for concern. Having said that, the implication was there from Ubisoft to subtly gain the UFC following. If you look at the wording, the words ULTIMATE FIGHTING are capitalized while the rest aren't. There is no logical reason for those two words to have more emphasis than the rest of the phrase.
  • Who fucking cares...
  • To all these people banging on about they don't own the words- how come Facebook has trademarked the word Face then? Nobody can use the word Face in regards to socialising with each other without opening the doors to a lawsuit. It's completely reasonable that the Ultimate Fighting Championship can sue someone using the phrase Ultimate Fighting on a game that is in the same genre as them- especially when the UFC Kinect game will be coming out next year.
  • UFC is a shit undisciplined sport. Boxing will aways be the ultimate fighting sport as it has discipline and skill.
  • Alex rose susing Activison, UFC susing UBISOFT. What next god susing over Black and White lol
  • "which could potentially have an adverse effect on the reputation of the championship." Implying a ridiculous court case won't... Streisand Effect is being put to good use here I see.
  • Who knew the ppl at UFC could be such assholes -_-
  • @64, Your a fucktard since ALL the UFC guys go through a significant amount of TRAINING so how is that undisciplined? Plus boxing is the little sister of UFC since UFC is WAY more brutal guys get broken limbs, so in short boxing is disciplined and so is UFC if not more so imo.
  • Is meathead fighting not making enough money? The game has been branded fighters uncaged not UFC anything. This no more then another attempt to make money, EA MMA sold well and UFC 2010 sold ok. If this was 1990 and UFC was still clutterd with mediocore fighters and few actually gave a shit about it no one would sue anyone. After a decade and surge in meathead reality shows and cable networks picking up any sort of "MMA" fighting they can see a chance to capitalize ( UFC) TWO WORDS. MSNBC has Lean Foward, FOX NEWs has Moving Foward and CNN has Moving truth foward. Are any of them suing eachother?? NO...They all make money exploiting people just like UFC. IF UFC wants to make money they should go hire a another forgotten comedian (joe Rogan) butch em up and have him commentate on dudes hurting eachother.
  • fuck the ufc and their 50 $ pay per views.
  • bullshit, ufc can go fuck themselves.
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