Trademarking Our Guild Name
The Syndicate® has achieved another first for the MMO gaming world. We have become the first online gaming organization to Trademark our name. Initial reaction from most developers and producers of MMO's has been very supportive. There have been a individuals who speak against the concept by saying Trademark's stiffle creative freedom and are a bad thing. Others are unsure what it will mean for the industry for a guild to own the right's to its intellectual property that it has spent years creating.
We firmly believe that trademarks don’t discourage creative enterprise, they nurture it by allowing the people engaged in those enterprises to protect their reputation and their investment. The Syndicate® trademarked our name and logo to insure that our efforts at developing The Syndicate® would be protected in the online gaming world. We do recognize this is a relatively new topic for the online gaming community (as of early 2006), but it was done to address an issue common in the gaming world where aliases and identities are so easily assumed and discarded. Over the past few years we have dealt with individuals and guilds not only using our name but outright claiming to be us. This has happened a lot over the past 10 years and I am sure it has been an issue for some other old and/or well known groups.
Our marks’ application is described on the registry as “Entertainment services, namely, an online gaming guild providing in game opportunities for proliferating game expertise and camaraderie among gamers supported by a web site featuring multimedia materials.”
We are proud of our involvement in a host of services that include, but are not limited to, our annual conference, submissions to game development books, articles we have written for gaming publications, guides for specific games or aspects of games, and a line of gaming related products and clothing. We have a community outreach service that has done fund-raisers for charity like sponsoring Youth Opportunities Unlimited and helping the victims of hurricane Katrina. We are also developing a service for providing the development community feedback from gamers on what they really want. We even have a paid position on the advisor board for a small MMO company that we hope, one day, will result in a vibrant next generation gaming world that has a positive impact on the whole community.
The Syndicate® is not simply a collection of people playing MMO’s that share a title. We are an online gaming community that strives very hard to provide outstanding services and benefits for our members and also for the gaming community as a whole. We think our efforts are a positive contribution to the gaming world. We also firmly believe that groups, such as ours, should be fostered by MMO companies. Stable, long term guilds add value to their members and keep players paying for a game long after it would have become boring. Unstable guilds often implode explosively and lead to players leaving a game (and thus ceasing to pay for it) before they normally would and definitely before the long term playing potential that a stable guild membership provides. Trademarking is merely one symbol of long term stability and by owning the rights to a guild's intellectual property it encourages player investment in the guild and in the community which benefits its members, other players and the MMO companies themselves.