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Overwatch trademark suit settled between Blizzard, app maker

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

A trademark dispute involving Blizzard's upcoming shooter, Overwatch, and a mobile app by the same name has been resolved, with Blizzard's use of the mark intact.

Blizzard and Innovis Labs have settled their litigation, reports the McArthur Law Firm, intellectual property specialists who represented neither side but have been following and writing about the case. Innovis makes Overwatch, an application used for real-life airsoft, paintball or laser tag matches. Overwatch, by Blizzard, is a team-based multiplayer shooter that began a closed beta test just last week.

On Oct. 21, Innovis filed documents saying it will surrender its registered trademark to Overwatch, which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office certified only a day before. A lawsuit related to the suit also is in process of being dismissed. The terms under which Innovis is giving up the mark are not listed, but McArthur Law speculates that "Blizzard paid Innovis a hefty sum for it to abandon its rights."

Polygon is reaching out to representatives of both Blizzard and Innovis for additional comment. Innovis' app remains available on the iTunes mobile store.

Blizzard filed for federal trademark registration for Overwatch in April 2014; Innovis had applied for the same mark six months earlier. As the USPTO suspended Blizzard's application, the two sides appeared to have worked out their differences, but in May Innovis abandoned that agreement and sued Blizzard for trademark infringement, leading to this case and its outcome.

It's fortunate timing for Blizzard, whose BlizzCon 2015 begins Friday, and will likely showcase Overwatch, the publisher's first new franchise in 11 years. For more on Overwatch, see Polygon's preview from earlier this year.

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