News Trademarks Video Games

Activision files ‘Laser Blast’ trademark, Atari 2600 game first published in 1981

Laser Blast

Activision has submitted a new trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that hints that an Atari 2600 classic video game is getting remade.

On September 13, 2012, the video game company filed a trademark (Serial Number:  85728268) for “Laser Blast”.

The goods and services in the application cover, “Computer game software; computer game software for use on mobile and cellular phones, handheld computers, and portable and handheld digital electronic devices.”

Laser Blast was originally released in 1981 for the Atari 2600 video game system.

The game was designed by David Crane, one of Activision’s co-founders, who left the company in 1986.  In Laser Blast, “you are a spaceship blasting away at enemy bases, which appear in intervals of three, while they blast right back at you.”

Laser Blast

Activision also has a trademark for “Laser Blast” for video game cartridges, that dates back to April 1981.

In July, it was announced that Activision Leeds, the newly-founded UK studio, was revamping Activision’s first major game Pitfall.

So far Activision has made no announcement as to a remake, but this has all the signs of another Activision Leeds project.

News Trademarks Video Games

Activision files trademark for The Blast Furnace game, privately acquires domain

The Blast Furnace

Activision Publishing, Inc. filed a trademark application on April 18, 2012, for “The Blast Furnace” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The goods and services in the trademark filing (Serial Number: 85601232) cover “computer game software” and “Entertainment services, namely, providing an on-line computer game”.

In addition to the trademark filing, it appears Activision has privately acquired the related domain name, (Whois), through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor.  Activision is a client of MarkMonitor.

In March 2012, the domain name <> was registered to domain investor Frank Schilling’s Name Administration Inc.  In April, the name transferred to DNStination, Inc., the Whois privacy service provided by MarkMonitor.

I’ve reached out to Frank Schilling via e-mail to see if any details about the transaction can be shared and I will update this story if I hear back.

At the time of this writing, Activision has made no announcement regarding “The Blast Furnace”.

[Update 1 at 8:30pm EST:. After a little digging on DomainNameSales, the online marketplace that features premium domain names from Frank Schilling’s private collection and other investors, it appears the domain name sold for anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000 USD.  The sale was reported on April 19, 2012.]

Talking about this story:  VG247, @supererogatory, NowGamer, Lazygamer, Strategy Informer,, HardGamers, Gamestrend,,, GamePro,, Shacknews, MCV and

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Domain reveals Activision’s secret Bond game called “007: Legends” [UPDATED]

007 Legends

With the James Bond film franchise celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, there is a lot of buzz about the next Bond film Skyfall.  What has remained a mystery, however, is whether Activision will release a new Bond game in 2012.  But given all the hoopla, it makes perfect sense that a new Bond game will be released to mark the milestone.

If Activision is set to launch the next Bond game, it looks like we might have a very appropriate title:  007 Legends.

You might be wondering where this information came from.  Well, it came from the Whois record for

In late March, Danjaq LLC (the holding company for James Bond copyright and trademarks), acquired the domain name  The domain appears to have expired and Danjaq registered the name through Network Solutions.  While this may not seem significant, it’s not the whole picture.

This week, I also discovered the domain changed name servers to, the home of many of Activision’s biggest names like (Whois) and (Whois).

Though Mary Tuck, Activision’s legal counsel, typically registers domain names on behalf of the game publisher, when it comes to the best 007 domain of all, it’s Danjaq that owns the name.  According to Whois records, Danjaq is the owner of

This may end up being nothing more than speculation on my part, but with all the Bond surprises expected this year don’t be too surprised to see a new Bond game released.

And what better title than, “007: Legends”?

At the time of this story, Activision has made no official announcement about “007: Legends” nor does the domain name resolve to a web page.

Here’s a look at the Whois record for Whois record via DomainTools

Updated April 18, 2012:.  Activision has officially announced 007 Legends.

To celebrate the James Bond franchise’s 50th anniversary, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), will launch gamers back through time to relive a selection of Bond’s most iconic and intense undercover missions from the popular Bond film franchise with 007™ Legends.

A first-of-its-kind Bond video game, 007 Legends features an original, overarching storyline tying together six classic Bond movies, concluding with this year’s highly-anticipated 23rd installment — SKYFALL — to offer the most diverse Bond gaming experience yet!  As with the feature films, 007 Legends equips players with state-of-the-art spy gadgets, an arsenal of weapons, including Bond’s signature Walther PPK, and sleek vehicles as they jet off to exotic locations and utilize Bond’s quick wits, class and style to take down notorious villains and their brutal henchmen, perform impressive stunts, and of course…mingle with gorgeous Bond women.

“To honor 50 years of the world’s top secret agent, 007 Legends offers a collection of his most famed moments in the smartest and most treacherous Bond game yet,” said David Oxford, Executive Vice President at Activision Publishing, Inc.  “Creating a video game storyline that ties together six popular, yet very different, Bond movie narratives can be challenging, but together with EON Productions, our developer Eurocom, has pulled it off to create an homage that we think will be a unique and highly entertaining Bond video game.”

In addition to 007 Legends‘ main story, the game will feature the return of fan-favorite single-player Mi6 Ops Missions, which debuted in GoldenEye 007: Reloaded and challenges players to complete extra missions ranging from all-out action to stealth and gadget-based gameplay and compete for the highest online leader board scores.  For the first time ever, players will be able to participate as one of Bond’s cohorts or villainous foes, reliving the missions through their eyes, as well as 007’s.  The robust James Bond multiplayer experience includes local four-player split-screen game modes and online competitive gameplay with new maps, weapons and characters derived from Bond’s 50 year legacy.  With more gadgets, deeper stealth and spy investigation gameplay, gamers will have every opportunity to truly feel like the world’s favorite spy.

Planned to launch this fall, 007 Legends is being developed by Eurocom, under license from EON Productions Ltd. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. (MGM) for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system.  Stay tuned for more information on the game’s official Web site and Facebook page.

Full press release.

(Image of Jame Bond silhouette in Istanbul via

News Video Games

Is Activision launching a blog? Game publisher registers

Activision Blizzard logo

Could Activision be launching its own blog sometime in the near future? 

It very well could be according to a recent domain registration by Mary Tuck, Activision’s legal counsel.  On March 19, the company registered the domain name (Whois) through the internet brand protection company MarkMonitor.

While Activision already has a Press Releases section on its website and its social media manager Dan Amrich runs a blog called One of Swords that covers Activision happenings, unlike some of its competitors such as Electronic Arts, Activision has no company branded blog that covers anything and everything Activision.

Of course, may be nothing more than a defensive registration, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see if anything turns up online.

As of today, does not resolve to a web page.

Discussion: Joystiq

News Video Games Whois record changes hint Activision may be involved Whois record

Since early August when a Treyarch employee was caught playing a game titled “Iron Wolf” on the Xbox 360, rumors of the next Call of Duty series being called “Iron Wolf” or “Project Iron Wolf” have been swirling on the internet.

A fake website located at, likely setup by a Call of Duty fanboy, even went online in late December albeit with some significant errors like the misspelling of “Treyarch”.

Whether it’s a more clever stunt by another Call of Duty fanboy or a sneaky but legitimate transfer to Activision’s legal department, the domain name (Whois) was updated earlier this week and now has Whois details that match that of Activision’s other coveted domain names like (Whois). 

The biggest similarities include the domain servers listed, as well as the address and phone information. 

The big difference between the two Whois records, of course, is the name used as the contact, which is the telltale sign that this is nothing more than another silly stunt.  Whereas Activision’s Whois contact used for its domains is usually Mary Tuck, the company’s litigation counsel, the contact listed for is currently George Pharell, who also uses an unrelated e-mail: callofdutytiw -at- is owned and operated by World Media Group, LLC, an online company that specializes in owning premium domain names like and

According to Whois historical records, was first registered in early January by a resident of the Ukraine.  The domain name changed hands days later to George Pharell.

Recently, the owner of the name (who ran a now suspended Twitter account) redirected visitors to, but as of today, the web address does not resolve to any web page. 

I’ve reached out to George Pharell by e-mail, who appears to have a lot of free time on his hands, and will update this post if I hear back.

The Whois changes to appear to be just an online ruse, but with all the “Iron Wolf” buzz emerging, I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether the domain ends up in the hands of Activision.

Activision’s involvement in this whole thing, may merely be a matter of a cease-and-desist letter.

Discussion: This Is Xbox