On 1 May, Atlus issued a statement detailing their plans for the Western release of Attack on Titan: Humanity In Chains, a localisation of the previous Japan-only entry, Attack on Titan: Last Wings of Mankind, which released in December 2013.
While North American fans of the blockbuster anime series were delighted to learn that the game would release stateside on 12 May, European fans were left disappointed by the announcement of a delay due to a copyright claim.
Baffled fans said things like
And they had a point. A quick search on Google Play reveals dozens of entries with with “Titan” as an integral part of the name. Atlus didn’t release any details or hints about who issued a copyright claim against them for Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains. But I’ve done some internet sleuthing and discovered who might be the real culprit behind it.
The official European Union trademark database (OHIM/CTM) contains details of the copyright filing and the subsequent opposition for Attack on Titan (CTM013347331).
Timeline of events:
10 Oct 2014 – Trademark application by Kondansha Ltd for “Attack on Titan” wordmark under classes 9 and 28 (covering computer games and electronic games)
25 Nov 2014 – Application published for opposition with a deadline of 25 Feb 2015 for any trademark opposition to be filed.
25 Feb 2015 – Opposition filed by PT Entertainment Limited against “Attack on Titan” under grounds of “Likelihood of confusion”.
26 Feb 2015 – OHIM begins investigations into the validity of the opposition claim and informs Kodansha Ltd about it.
6 March 2015 – OHIM declares the opposition claim is admissible as it is based on an earlier right for “Titan”.
11 May 2015 – Expiry of ‘cooling-off’ period
12 May 2015 – Beginning of adversarial part of opposition proceedings
11 July 2015 – Deadline for submission of further material to substantiate earlier rights.
Who are PT Entertainment Limited and what do they do?
From my investigations, they are an “interactive gaming” company based in Antigua and operates Titanbet and Winner, both online gambling sites. It’s also a subsidiary of Playtech, “the world’s largest online gaming software supplier”.
Now, back to the copyright claim in question. According to the trademark filing information, PT Entertainment Limited filed opposition against Attack on Titan for the following trademarks on 25 Feb 2014:
- Titan Poker
- Titan Bet
- Titan Casino
What did the opposition possibly mean for Atlus?
This is speculation but I believe Atlus held off as long as they could for PT Entertainment to withdraw their opposition claim but ultimately felt a decision needed to be made.
To the casual observer, there is no chance of anyone getting confused and mistaking Attack on Titan as a gambling game but this is a legal issue and it’s one for the lawyers to deal with.
In the meantime, I invite casual observer to be confused by Attack on Titan’s similarity to Titan.
And here’s the Nintendo eShop trailer: