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Blizzard's Overwatch hits trademark problem

When Blizzard announced Overwatch at BlizzCon last year, the news was met with much excitement.

Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter from the makers of World of Warcraft. It's the developer's first new property in years.

But the project has run into an unexpected problem with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to documents posted on NeoGAF today, the USPTO has suspended Blizzard's application for a trademark for Overwatch, due to "a likelihood of confusion" with a previously registered trademark.

That trademark is also being sought by Innovis Labs, which uses it for an app that offers "a tactical utility to enhance airsoft, paintball and first-person shooter gameplay events." Both applications are therefore within the broad realm of gaming.

Innovis' blurb states that its Overwatch is "inspired by classic first-person shooter video games." Its application has also been suspended. Blizzard's trademark is currently listed as active, but this may be due to the suspension notice only recently being posted. It's likely that both companies are seeking more evidence to support their own claims.

Polygon has contacted Blizzard and Innovis for comment. We'll update as soon we we hear back from either company.

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