Imagineer involved in European Medabots trademark dispute

13 01 2021

A battle for the right to release Medabots branded content in Europe has begun. Medarot IP holder Imagineer has announced plans to fight a European legal decision that ruled the publisher would not be allowed to market products in the continent under the Medabots and Medarot banner. The European Medabots trademark has been held by Kevin Comadrán de Frutos (henceforth, Comadrán), of Spain, since January 2018.

To be clear, a trademark specifically refers to the brand’s name. The existing games, character designs, storylines, music, visuals, etc. are protected by copyright laws and continue to be owned by Imagineer.

When Medabots was launched globally in the early 2000s, trademarks were registered by the franchise’s rights holders in various countries. As the brand has largely been absent outside of Japan since the mid-2000s, the trademarks were left to lapse, allowing them to become available to independents interested in acquiring the name for their own use. The European trademark, originally filed by Kodansha in 2002, expired in 2012.

Comadrán claims to have acquired the trademark with the intent to develop a new “Medabots” title inspired by the video games he played as a kid. Initially intended for mobile devices, the game was also planned to release on other platforms later on. When Imagineer launched Medarot S: Unlimited Nova last January, he noticed the game was available to download globally, albeit in Japanese. Comadrán claims to have attempted to contact Imagineer and request they remove the game, or at least change the name. When that failed, he filed a trademark infringement lawsuit with Spain’s Commercial Court of Alicante. Over the summer, the courts came to a ruling in his favour, restricting Imagineer “from marketing the infringing videogame through all platforms that make it possible to download it in the territory of the European Union.” This announcement included the first image (above) from Comadrán’s project. The decision was publicized by “Medabots Spain” in English earlier this month.

Imagineer denies any wrongdoing. Their press release states that the company is disputing the injunction and has, in fact, filed a counterclaim against Comadrán. Imagineer wants to own the European Medabots trademark due to its use on prior products associated with their intellectual property. If that effort fails, the company requests that the European Union revoke the trademark.

While the current public dispute is about the situation in Europe, Comadrán has acquired the Medabots trademark in a variety of countries. In the United States, he’s also attempted to acquire the Medarot trademark. Imagineer is working to have his registrations cancelled.

It should be noted that while Comadrán’s actions initially slipped by Imagineer, I noticed this in 2019 and warned that it could later create problems.

Thanks, Siliconera.


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23 01 2021
Additional information about upcoming Spanish “Medabots” smartphone game | Project Rising Beetle

[…] most of us only came to know about Kevin Comadrán’s Medabots project earlier this month, it turns out he’s been promoting it in a lowkey fashion for nearly a year. An official […]

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