2:30pm Tuesday 12th June 2012
By Jasmin McDermott
A SOUTHEND rock band battling a computer giant for ownership of its name, has taken the fight to Europe.
Ubisoft, the company behind leading games, including Assassin’s Creed, released a guitar game called Rocksmith in America last year.
Local band Rocksmith claims it registered the band name in 2003 with bandreg.com – now known as band name.com – believing the registration would protect the name.
Percussionist Kris Ford lodged an official objection to the trademark application for the game by Ubisoft last August.
The European Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market, which registers official trademarks, is due to make a final ruling over who can keep the name by the end of the month.
Mr Ford, 50, of Southchurch Road, Southend, said: “It is tough enough in the music industry to be successful, but when you are against something like this, it makes things even more difficult.
“They have completely swamped the internet promoting the game and have drowned us out of searches.
“I have spent almost a year getting all the paperwork together for this because we need to prove to officials that we registered the name first.”
The band was set up in 2007 and performs across the country.
After Mr Ford was alerted to the game, he immediately contacted the company and sent a string of e-mails, but received no reply.
The company then wrote to him asking for proof the name is registered, which Mr Ford replied to, but didn’t hear from the company after that. If Ubisoft win the rights to use the name, it would have the power to issue an injunction on the band, preventing them from using Rocksmith.
However, Mr Ford is confident the decision will be in the band’s favour.
He added: “We are now having to wait to hear what the decision is.
“The frustrating thing is in the meantime the company will be promoting the game in rock festivals across Europe, which will affect us even more.
“This has been distracting us from working on the band.
“We were recording an album but had to put that on the back burner.”
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