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January 31, 2008

Sony’s Buzz! Brand Naming Gets Buzztime Buzzing

sonybuzz.gifThe buzz in the blogosphere is that Sony is being sued by US based Buzztime Entertainment over the buzz naming in its Buzz! trivia game.

Buzztime does not (and probably cannot) trademark the word buzz but it is interesting to note that we are talking about two electronic games. Buzztime claims that Sony is capitalizing on its brand name and calls the trespass “"malicious, fraudulent, knowing, willful, and deliberate." wonders if the smart move would be for Sony to buy Buzztime outright to avoid a legal wrangle that it probably will lose: the two competing brand names are in a similar market and easily confused.


That said, the argument in Sony’s favor would be that buzzers and buzzing and indeed the word buzz is clearly associated with trivia games and its fair game for anyone, but I would imagine that Sony is in trouble here. They want to trademark Buzz! as well as two other versions of the word for use in the electronic trivia game field and that puts them head to head with Buzztime.

In addition, Buzztime has been around since 1985 and is pretty popular. I find it hard to believe that Sony isn’t aware that the word buzz has a certain automatic, built in association.

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Posted by William Lozito at January 31, 2008 7:29 AM
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