Fabulous Beasts’ Trademark Tussle

A new children’s game, developed by Sensible Object, has been forced to change its name following a trademark dispute with the British division of film studio, Warner Bros.

Fabulous Beasts, a crowdfunded ‘toys-to-life’ game, was accused of infringing the trademark of Warner Bros’ new Fantastic Beasts franchise – which is based on the forthcoming Harry Potter spin-off movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Warner Bros claimed that the game’s title was reminiscent of their own, and significantly there was a real risk that consumers would be confused between the two titles.

Sensible Object founder, Alex Fleetwood, did not agree:

“We have seen no evidence of confusion between our game and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and our view is that even to someone just glancing at the two properties – our game, branding, theme and content are unmistakably different.”

Warner Bros moved quickly to oppose Sensible Object’s application to trademark the Fabulous Beasts name and subsequently failed to negotiate a settlement with the game developers.

“Having held many discussions with them over the past few weeks and having failed to find a way that our name can co-exist with theirs, we feel we are left with no other option than to have to change it,” said Mr Fleetwood.

Sensible Object have proceeded to rename the new game, which allows children to stack shapes and objects on top of each other to be ‘recreated’ on a digital platform, as Beasts of Balance.

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Maung is a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department. He joined Mackrell Turner Garrett following corporate law positions in London and in a leading regional firm in Essex.