No more "Tower Defense" games

Com2US, a company that filed a trademark for “Tower Defense” in 2007, has started enforcing it.

I know what you’re thinking, Tower Defense games have been around since at least 2002 warcraft 3 mods right? Heck, even the web forerunner Desktop Tower Defense was out before June 2007? Isn’t this a name for a whole game genre? So what, the USPTO doesn’t care.

You know who else doesn’t care? Apple. They’ve been warning developers their apps are going to get pulled.

Apple did this same thing to us with our app, forcing us to change a keyword. In our case the company’s claim was even more silly, but Apple demanded we comply anyway.

I understand why Apple doesn’t want to get in the middle of legal matters, but this is pretty over the top. Hell, they themselves had a feature section called “best tower defense games”.

What the deuce? This is almost as bad as the “Edge” guy.

Desktop Tower Defence (which is big enough of a phenomenon to rate a lengthy, indisputed Wikipedia article) dates from March 2007 - more recent than I thought, too, Malphigian.

Turret Protection?

I copyright the first-person shooter. Pay up, bitches!

Your title is a bit misleading though. There will still be tower defense games, even if this is enforced. It’s the words ‘tower defense’ that would not be allowed in the title. I still think that’s silly, but it’s not the same as saying there would be no tower defense games.

I realize that you put ‘tower defense’ in quotes, to help indicate what you mean, but I had to read the article before I realized what you meant here.

Still, I support your opposition to this. If you need a petition signed or anything, let me know.

Also, see the post above mine for an example of how this is misleading to people.

The title was an intentionally misleading joke, sorry.

The trademark was filed in June 2007 so it’s still after DTD.

This is what I don’t understand about patents. OK, so very clearly, there is prior art. Isn’t this trivially defeated then by every company they go after?

Well, it’s a trademark, not a patent. I’m not at the 50 post limit, but you can a good explanation by googling “patent vs trademark”. IANAL, so someone else will have to speak to what prior art means to a trademark.

Trademark, patent, whatever … it’s clearly invalid, isn’t it?

Sorry, for some reason I called it a patent instead of a trademark when I am well aware of the difference. This is a trademark. Doesn’t change anything about how worthless this is.

Patents and trademarks are handled differently. Unfortunately, I’m not up to date on trademark policy, but I’m guessing the EFF would be able to help out with this ridiculous claim on “tower defense.” That’s like trying to trademark “sedan.”

The fact that Apple is “cooperating” with this is sickening.

  • Alan

Let’s all start calling them defense of towers games.

Since the USPTO granted it I believe to defeat it someone would actually have to pony up the money to take them to court and all the way to an actual verdict. Only then (should they win) would the trademark be struck down. I would imagine complying or settling is often much cheaper for each individual company.

It seems the USPTO is perfectly content being a rubber stamp these days. They really don’t care about doing any investigating, no matter how trivial it might be and, just let the courts sort out what is and isn’t a valid trademark or patent.

Com2US, bite me!

We should call them Doom Clones from now on.


Why? It’s not Apple’s fight? It’s a properly registered trademark (as far as they know), and they don’t have any real interest in contesting it.

So, would the trademark also cover games called Tower Defence? If not then maybe some kind soul could trademark that phrase and let everyone use it for free.

I think the patent on spelling errors expired a long ago.

It goes back way farther than Desktop Tower Defense. ‘Tower Defense’ was a genre of Warcraft 3 and Starcraft 1 maps, and they typically had Tower Defense right in the title.