California-based electronic trivia company Buzztime Entertainment has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, alleging that Sony's Buzz!
game franchise and the attached tagline, "It's time to get buzzing!" violate its trademarks.
According to a report by consumer site GameSpot, the suit contains allegations
against SCEE of "malicious, fraudulent, knowing, willful and deliberate" trademark violation, and accuses the company of intentionally misleading consumers into associating the Buzz!
video game franchise with Buzztime's products.
Buzztime's line of electronic trivia games usually appears in bars and restaurants; according to GameSpot, the company claims some 13 million players each month. Buzztime also operates mobile phone-based quiz services, as well as cable, satellite and home systems.
GameSpot reports that Buzztime does not have a trademark on the use of the word "buzz" in video games, but has trademarked similar phrases including "Buzztime," "Buzzhead," "Share the Buzz," and "Buzzkids." On the other hand, SCEE has apparently filed for three "Buzz!" trademarks -- one with an exclamation point, two without -- that have not yet been officially registered.
Buzztime is reportedly seeking both actual and punitive damages, legal fees, and a rejection of SCEE's pending Buzz