There is a mobile game that has TM written behind its name.

It is built for iOS and has not been updated for years. I would like to create a new and better version of it, for all operating systems, also maybe commercialize it and make free and premium version.

Does the TM symbol mean that I cannot use the name, or the idea, or something else?


A trademark allows the trademark owner to use the name in conjunction with a product. It also allows the trademark owner to prevent others from using the name, if it could confuse customers. And owning a trademark allows you to sell it to someone else or license the use for money, if you feel like it.

You can lose a trademark if you are not actively using it for a long time. "Not updating a game" doesn't mean you are not actively using it. For example, you say this game is built for iOS. As long as people can see it and download it, it is in active use.

You can't use the name without permission. You can ask the trademark owner for permission, which you might get if you pay them money.

  • Does trademark go only for name or also the concept or idea of the game? Can I use similar idea, but change the name?
    – Jaanus
    Aug 3 '16 at 8:55
  • @Jaanus trademark protection only applies to names and logos and other marks that identify a product (for example, UPS claims the color brown as a trademark). You can probably build a game on the same concept as long as you call it by a different name, but you should be careful to check whether other types of intellectual property protection apply, such as copyright (which exists automatically without registration), and (less likely) patents.
    – phoog
    Aug 3 '16 at 13:12
  • @Janus There are also questions on this site about copyright in game development.
    – Philipp
    Oct 2 '16 at 9:33

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