Although the owner of each domain is hidden behind MarkMonitor’s privacy service DNStination, Warner Bros. is a client of MarkMonitor, so there’s little doubt that Warner Bros. is the registrant.
Last June, Warner Bros. publicly registered names like 300thebattleofartemisia.com (WHOIS), but has taken extra steps to privately register this week’s names. So if I had to speculate, I would say “300: The Battle of Artemisium” is no longer a rumored title.
It appears Warner Bros. may be developing a new video game called GreyFoundry.
On December 15, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. filed four separate trademark filings (85493271, 85493265, 85493259 and 85493253) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, two of which cover video game software and online video games.
In addition to the trademark applications, it looks as though Warner Bros. may have secured the domain rights to greyfoundry.com, greyfoundry.net, and greyfoundry.org. According to WHOIS records the domains aren’t registered to Warner Bros., instead, each name is registered to Kite Inc., a full-service strategy and design firm that helps companies build brands.
At the time of this story going online, Warner Bros. has not made any announcement about a new video game called GreyFoundry.
Here’s a look at the Goods and Services covered in two of the trademark applications:
Serial Number: 85493271
Designing and developing computer game software and video game software for use with computers, video game program systems and computer networks; Computer software design; Video game development services; Video game programming development services
Serial Number: 85493265
Entertainment services, namely, providing online video games, providing online computer games, providing temporary use of non-downloadable video games; Production of video and computer game software; Entertainment services in the nature of live-action, comedy, drama and animated television series; production of live-action, comedy, drama and animated television series; distribution and display of live-action, comedy, drama and animated motion picture theatrical films; production of live-action, comedy, drama and animated motion picture theatrical films; theatrical performances both animated and live action; Internet services providing information via an electronic global computer network in the field of entertainment relating specifically to games, movies, and television; providing a web site featuring film clips, photographs and other multimedia materials; providing information for and actual entertainment via an electronic global communications network in the nature of live-action, comedy, drama and animated programs and production of live-action comedy, action and animated motion films for distribution via a global computer network; conducting contests on-line; providing a computer game that may be accessed by a telecommunications network; and electronic publishing services, namely, publication of text and graphic works of others on-line featuring articles, novelizations, scripts, comic books, strategy guides, photographs and visual materials
None of the ‘Cartoon Universe’ domain names resolve to a web page at the time of this post going online.
[Updated on May 3, 2012:. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announcedCartoon Universe, a free-to-play, online world that will provide a safe, social environment for young kids to go on adventures, solve puzzles and play games with their favorite Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo! Characters.]
Though hidden behind WHOIS privacy, the names were registered through MarkMonitor, a company that helps more than half of Fortune 100 protect their brands online. So, it’s safe to say Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is behind the secret registrations.
Is Warner Bros. planning a remake of the video game or some other service or product? Or are the domain purchases part of the company’s overall intellectual property strategy to prevent other people from using the names?
At the time of this story going online, Warner Bros. has not announced anything official.