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The use of BRANDS in video games

Hey fellas,

just quick question.

We were going to make an item with a fictional brand in our video game, but we found out that there’s a company that exists with that name with a different ending letter in it in that sells a separate product than the one we sell in the game.

For example i’ve seen south park do Mountain Deww and stuff like that, so would we be covered if it is spelled wrong and a different type of item altogether than this business out there? or would they sue us for having a similar name, just with a letter spelled for the fictional object to collect in the game.

Any input would be much appreciated.

Thanks

It depends. If it harms their brand you may get a cease and desist letter but chances are if it’s not derogatory you should be okay. You would probably win any suit if one was brought against you since the two products are different and they don’t compete.

If you are a small studio, I would definitely avoid doing anything like Mountain Deww, you would need lawyers to back up any uses of satire like that. If you are keeping it generic, not using the name in anyway that could be viewed as damaging, and obviously not referencing an actual brand, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.