Flappy Bird may be gone forever, but its legacy still continues. More and more clones are making it to the app store everyday just to capitalize on the name and the Guardian even said that the app store saw a Flappy Bird clone every 24 minutes in the first 24 hours after it was taken down. So, it’s easy to understand how popular this game was. However, instead of trying to make a clone and take advantage of the game’s popularity, a company is trying to trademark the name, which directly means anyone having a game called Flappy will have to pay the company.
Ultimate Arcade Inc. is the company behind this trademark filing and it is already sending notices to developers, to take down the games with the word Flappy. According to a notice sent to an indie developer, the company claims that it has been using the name Flappy for its games since 2006 and hence, it is already under the process of trademarking the name.
The notice says that the company still has a game called Flappy which features a bird. It further adds, a famous game studio, Big Fish Games is a licensee of this particular game. So, using this as evidence, UAI aims to trademark this name. However, one thing to note here is that the company is still not the owner of the trademark and has just applied for it a month back. But even before officially owing the name, the company has sent out notices to several developers with apps that have the word Flappy.
Many developers have received such notices from Apple’s legal team on behalf of UAI, and the letter even warns them that they are the owner of the trademark and any unlicensed use will “clearly manifest a scheme of deliberate and/or willful infringement of the UAI trademark.” The company claims that this is essential to protect their interests as users might mistake these apps as UAI’s creations. If the name is trademarked to UAI, developers with similar named apps will have to take them down unless they are willing to license it from the company.
Looks like there will be a lot more Flappy action in the coming months. And with the original Flappy Bird’s developer, Dong Nguyen suggesting a possible comeback, things are definitely going to be interesting. The trademark notice could be sent to Nguyen too, if he brings back the game, which would actually be quite absurd, given that Flappy Bird was the game which made the name famous.
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