Thursday, May 31, 2007

Your tax dollars at work.

First, my trademark for Skill City got declined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office because the name given on the registration was incorrect, according to them. What was the name? Nathan Reese, Skill City Inc. It turns out when the form asks for your name, and then the name of your business, you aren't supposed to actually fill that in. The kicker is that if you do, it voids the entire application and you cannot simply repair it. You just get to kiss your 250 dollar application fee goodbye.

So I did that. It was a fond farewell because I was really just starting to feel like me and my money were getting along.

I filed again, and guess what? I got it back again, this time saying that a pending application by a company with a similar name and logo are too easily confused with mine. Who would that be? Nathan Reese, Skill City Inc. of course. I was also told that my choice of colors was not acceptable because I used works like purple and orange, and they would have chosen to name different colors like red and blue, and yellow.

Apparently you don't have to be color blind, or a mad man, to work at the US Patent and Trademark Office, but it helps. We also choose to interpret the word "helps" as "is an absolute requirement" just as we also tend to think that orange is a different color than yellow.

That's just me though. Its not like it cost me nearly six hundred bucks to squabble over semantics with a faceless pseudo-attorney someplace in Washington DC. No... no wait... yes it has...

Oh but wait, the whining continues: 7 months ago I filed the artwork for our 5 titles with the Copyright office. I used Form VA for Visual Arts, as I wished to copyright the artwork for the games and not the sound. The first title, Antskrieg, was accepted and I received a letter back with my certificate. The second title, Explodinator, was rejected and I received a letter back telling me I should use Form PA for Performing Arts when copyrighting a video game.

Ok so who at the copyright office read my first application, and who read the second one? Clearly there should be some kind of actual system to this instead of just throwing a dart at the pile of Copyright Application Forms and announcing "These will be randomly rejected, the rest will be accepted."

Keep this in mind when starting your own video game company my dear readers. You must deal with a government that is as old and belligerently stupid as any carnivorous dinosaur ever was. You could say to yourself, that you have common law copyright. You do, its just nearly impossible to prove that in court, especially when the guy stealing your work has more money than you. So make sure you file often, and file early, because the one guy that handles all this stuff for the entire nation has the IQ of a pomegranate.

Thus ends this weeks Rant. Im in a foul mood because I just checked our metrics. 7000 downloads in two weeks!! Holy Crap Thats Awesome! How many of those registered for a new account? 500. How many of those subscribed? 9.



Iason said...

Best cautionary tale, ever. Teh CTO says that it's in the process of updating the filing process for internet/video games/mixed media stuff, but too little, too late in your case, and it will probably suck just as much, only in a different, equally confusing fashion.

Anya said...

i find american goverment things tend to be all run by complete idiots...

and nothing against christianity and conservitism itself, but loyalty over abillity to preform one's job should just not happen. look at what bush has done with that loyalty over abillity >.>

Anya said...

ack, its late, i meant to say, "being choosen for a job should not fall on chooseing an inept loyal person over a skilled not 100% loyal person"