Frank Schilling’s company files petition for cancellation after trademark owner threatens it.
If you’ve ever filed for a trademark, you know that it can be a challenging process to get approval. Just ask hotels.com and mattress.com, which have failed in their attempts.
But trademarks are inevitably improperly approved by the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office every day. Such is the case with “Cheat Code”, a generic term referring to codes in video games that unlock secret levels, provide players with new powers, etc.
Somehow, CheatCodes.com LLC managed to slip this through and got a trademark for the term “Cheat Code”. The company operates at CheatCodes.com. So who owns CheatCode.com? Frank Schilling’s Name Administration.
According to Name Administration’s publicly available filing with USPTO (pdf), CheatCodes.com, LLC threatened owners of domains similar to “Cheat Code”. But then the company messed with the wrong guy: it threatened Name Administration over its CheatCode.com domain name, which it has owned since 2000.
The petition for cancellation claims Cheat Code is generic and descriptive, and should not have been issued as a trademark. By aggressively pursuing a weak trademark, CheatCodes.com has landed itself hot water.
The petition for cancellation might not be decided until early 2011.