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Copyright Help Needed - The Impossible Test!

07-26-2010, 05:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 342
*Trademark* Help Needed - The Impossible Test!

So here's the story. I made a game called The Impossible Test. It currently has over 4.5 million downloads. Today I got contacted by developers over at inXile Entertainment. They created the game "The Impossible Quiz".

They want me to remove my app from the App Store because they say "you have significantly borrowed from the online game 'Impossible Quiz' creating a similar name and game play"

"The Impossible Quiz trademark is owned by <NAME OF OWNER> and licensed by inXile entertainment for use on all platforms"

"As the Director of Development for inXile entertainment, I must ask you to remove your title from the App Store as it infringes on our trademark product and dilutes the brand."


Firstly, the games are not similar game play. The only similarity is that they have "questions" that the user has to complete. Otherwise, nothing is similar. The Impossible Quiz asks you REALLY random questions where you usually pick 1 out of 4 possible answers. The Impossible Test is WAY different, where you don't just "pick one out of 4". You actually interact with the game (tilt, shake, drag, tap, swipe etc.). Also there are lots of other games with MORE similarities to The Impossible Test, such as Moron Test.

Next, if they own the trademark to "The Impossible Quiz", can't I still use the game "The Impossible Test"? It's not the same name, and yes, there are 2 words that are the same, but you could put thousands of different things on the ending and change the name.

So what should I do? Should I ask to see the trademark and what it involves? Or what are my other options? Can you please reply to this REALLY SOON! Thanks for all the help!

Edit: Where can I do a trademark search? I went to http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?...007:pnglis.1.1 and searched 'The Impossible Quiz" but nothing shows?

I make games at PixelCUBE Studios! Follow me @naveen_pcs

Last edited by simplymuzik3; 07-26-2010 at 06:00 PM.
07-26-2010, 05:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Here No More
Posts: 792

There is a thing about if a neutral person may mistake one for the other, based on the names being similar, this may fall into that category.

If I was you, gather as many facts as you can, from them and any other sources you may know of, and use them to decide your next step.

Not knowing all the facts and details, this would be my best advice.

Good luck and I hope it works out for you.


07-26-2010, 05:36 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 6
I remember a former topic on copyright. Maybe you would want to check that out and ask a couple of questions to the OP of that one. He may have learned a couple of things on the issue.

Good luck
07-26-2010, 05:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 197
Trademark and copyright are two completely different things.

You can't copyright an idea: only the expression of that idea. If you have borrowed the actual expression of the concept (i.e., reproduced some of the sam questions, and answers or puzzles in your game), then you have violated copyright.

Trademark is another matter all together. If they have trademarked "The Impossible Quiz" and you are calling your game "The Impossible Test," there is a good potential for confusion and therefore a potential violation of trademark.

But please, for the love o' god, don't decide what to do based on what you read on an online forum. In fact, NEVER ask for legal advice on an online forum, because you will won't get fact, you'll get opinion.

Consult an attorney who specializes in intellectual property law and learn the real truth.
07-26-2010, 08:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
Send a message via MSN to MindJuice Send a message via Skype™ to MindJuice
Gravity Jim is right. Get advice from a lawyer.

Having said that, unless you copied questions or graphics from them directly, there is no violation of copyright.

As to the question of trademark violation, in my opinion, The Impossible Test and The Impossible Quiz are close enough in name that a reasonable person might be confused by the two by name alone.

If a court were to reach a similar conclusion, I can't imagine anything beyond a name change being required of you though, but then again I am not a lawyer (but I play one on TA).

I think your bigger issue will be dealing with Apple. If inXile wants to, they can just ask Apple to remove your app from the app store due to pending litigation. Apple has done it many times in the past, and I believe they would do it again in your case if asked.

Or you could ask Apple to remove The Impossible Quiz first!
07-26-2010, 09:09 PM
I'll be completely frank - I have been mistaked by the title. I played The Impossible Quiz flash game and when I saw The Impossible Test on the AppStore I downloaded it thinking it is the same game. And I'm a dev and a long time gamer, not an "uneducated fool"

However - I absolutely agree that most of the similarities ended once the game was loaded. Yeah, the concept of asking questions is similar and the fact that answers are unexpected is similar too. But the way you structured the game is very different. Questions are completely different. Graphics are different...

To sum up - I agree with their claim that your game's title can be confusing to the consumer. However, while you are borrowing from their game, I do not see your game as a copy of theirs

So... I'd say - change the name, leave the game intact and things should be fine

But I'm not a lawyer (not even a US citizen )

EDIT: Mind Juice - you're not just a "lawyer" here, but IIRC you also like to play the role of devil's advocate
07-26-2010, 11:02 PM
Originally Posted by MindJuice View Post
Gravity Jim is right. Get advice from a lawyer.

Having said that, unless you copied questions or graphics from them directly, there is no violation of copyright.
This is correct. Things can become hazy under specific circumstances, but there isn't a direct rip-off.

We dealt with this a little with Snails almost a decade ago. It was a direct rip-off of the popular Worms games, but our work was completely original. They really couldn't do much except compete with us. By the time they got around to porting Worms (3 years later) Snails had already been established on the platform and they lost a huge potential market.

The same is true with the Impossible Test.Basically you have proven there is a market for it, and it has NOTHING to do with The Impossible Quiz. What the makers of the Impossible Quiz want to do is actually take your place, and hope that people grab their game in the absence of yours.

Don't let them do it. Tell them to **** off.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone
07-27-2010, 12:28 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
Don't let them do it. Tell them to **** off.
well do youself a favour and let youre lawyer tell them to **** off.. in his kind of words..

assuming 4,5 million units should at least gave you a bit of cash flow an lawyer should be something you have.
07-27-2010, 10:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 458
Consult a lawyer who specialize in trademarks and intellectual property disputes, preferably one experienced in the video game industry.

Ignore all other advice and opinions from this forum.

Christopher York
Blue Ox Technologies Ltd.
07-27-2010, 10:43 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 790
You should definitely stand your ground here. Get a specialized lawyer to look over all the information, and then let them write inXile a letter back.

Best of luck.