Normally I’m all like “The UFC’s lawyers are evil demon people with giant thorny devil cocks – the better to rape anyone who dares displease Zuffa brass.” But when a company as big as Ubisoft goes and puts stuff about ULTIMATE FIGHTING (their caps, not mine) on the box of their new game ‘Fighters Uncaged’, even I have to admit they were asking for it. Just like that chick. You know what I’m talking about.
The Las Vegas-based Ultimate Fighting Championship sued video game giant Ubisoft Inc. on Thursday, charging that packaging for a new street-fighter game infringes on and harms the trademarks of the UFC.
Attorneys for UFC owner Zuffa LLC charged in a trademark infringement lawsuit that the back cover of the new Ubisoft game “Fighters Uncaged” for the XBox 360 system says “Become the ULTIMATE FIGHTING weapon!”
Zuffa says this phrase is identical or confusingly similar to the UFC’s trademarked Ultimate Fighting name on packaging for Zuffa-licensed video games such as “Undisputed 2009,” “Undisputed 2010” and “Sudden Impact.”
“Defendant’s invitation for players to ‘charge head first into the vicious world of illegal fighting’ tarnishes the goodwill Zuffa has in its UFC marks. Zuffa has grown a successful mixed martial arts organization by moving away from the image of mixed martial arts as illegal street fighting, and taking it into the realm of a legitimate sport,” Zuffa said in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. “This was no easy task and required years and much effort to reach today’s legitimacy and widespread acceptance.”
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, The UFC ‘owns’ a big chunk of the vocabulary surrounding their sport, including UFC®, Ultimate Fighting®, The Ultimate Fighter®, As Real As It Gets™, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, UFC® Vault™, Octagon®, Octagon Girls™, using an 8-sided cage™, thinking about an 8-sided cage™, and the word submission®. Some of these are pretty iffy, but having another billion dollar company try to steal some thunder from them with a shitty unlicensed product is why the UFC has to slap funky symbols next to half the words they use in the first place.
On the plus side for Ubisoft, more people are now aware that the game ‘Fighters Uncaged’ actually exists. Unfortunately, anyone taking a few seconds to look into it will find out that it’s a universally despised piece o’ crap. From Joystiq:
[The] half-hour I spent with Fighters Uncaged was the very worst TV-related thing that has ever happened to me. It’s ugly, the fighting moves only work half of the time (except for ones like the straight right leg kick, which work none of the time). The training goes on forever before you get to the first round of actual fighting, which is against … your trainer. It’s terrible. I would erase Kinect from the fabric of time if it meant Fighters Uncaged would similarly be lost to the ether.
I’m not giving it a score because I think scoring a game after a half hour sets a bad precedent, and I’d rather eat a rain-soaked box of poison buttholes than ever play Fighters Uncaged again.
Gamespot gave the game a 2 out of 10, saying ‘Uncaged isn’t so much a game as it is a way to make you want to bang your head against a brick wall in despair.’ So I guess the same idiots who didn’t think the UFC’s lawyers would mind the ‘ultimate fighting’ reference on the box were also in charge of quality control. Awesome job, guys!