Friday, April 11, 2003
Sony copyrights "shock and awe". And in some ways that's the least sick thing about this article.
Japanese electronics giant Sony has taken an extraordinary step to cash in on the war in Iraq by patenting the term "Shock and Awe" for a computer game.
It is among a swarm of companies scrambling to commercially exploit the war in Iraq, which has killed more than 5,000 soldiers and civilians in the space of three weeks.
MediaGuardian.co.uk has learned that Sony is set to launch a computer game called "Shock and Awe", having registered the defining phrase of the coalition's military campaign as a trademark in the US.
It registered the term as a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office on March 21 - just one day after war started. It wants to use it for computer and video games, as well as a broadband game played both locally and globally via the internet among PlayStation users. [...]
But a British company is also planning a computer game, books, cards and magazines based on the war, called "Conflict Desert Storm II: Back to Baghdad".
SCi Games, part of computer games publisher SCi Entertainment, registered the title as a trademark in the US on February 25, having scored a hit with its original PlayStation and Xbox game, Conflict: Desert Storm.
Other goods planned for sale in the US include an "Axis of Evil" board game, "Iraqi Freedom" crockery and clothes as well as "Shock and Awe" trainers and dolls.
After September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, the US PTO was flooded with applications for trademarks for products bearing legends such as "the war on terrorism" and "remember the twin towers".
At the time applications were also been filed for products inscribed with the phrases "Osama, can you see the bombs bursting in the air?"; "Osama, Yo' Mama"; "9-11-01, lest we forget"; and "Operation Enduring Freedom".
The rush to make a quick buck from the attacks attracted widespread criticism from people concerned that companies were profiting from the tragedy.
I can't imagine, why, can you? Good grief, the war isn't even over and they're already trying to profiteer...