Updated story: EA has sent out an official statement saying: "The trademark application does not impact the game title of Unravel, and we're looking forward to the game launching on 9 February." The company did not go into any details.
Original story: EA has been forced to abandon its trademark for "Unravel" – the name of its upcoming PS4, Xbox One and PC platformer – due to a clash between it and an existing trademark. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filed an action against EA last summer which the publisher failed to respond to, triggering the abandonment.
News of the abandoned trademark was unearthed by NeoGAF user Rösti, and seems to mean that the game will have to be rechristened ahead of its planned release on 9 February. Depending on how prepared EA has been for this outcome, they may even be forced to delay the game to remove references to the title in the game and on marketing materials.
The USPTO issued an office action on 22 June 2015 on the following grounds: "Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark in U.S. Registration No. 4227793."
EA's trademark clashes with another held by a board name manufacturer called SimplyFun for a children's table-top game called "Beary's Unravel Game" (pictured right).
In its explanation of events the USPTO said: "When comparing marks, the test is not whether the marks can be distinguished in a side-by-side comparison, but rather whether the marks are sufficiently similar in terms of their overall commercial impression that confusion as to the source of the goods and/or services offered under the respective marks is likely to result.
"The applicant's mark, "UNRAVEL" is identical to the registrant's mark, "UNRAVEL", and will lead to consumer confusion."
EA announced twee platformer Unravel during the company's E3 press conference last summer. It is being developed by Coldwood Interactive and follows the adventures of Yarny, a creature made of yarn that travels through realistic environments, using its yarn to traverse gaps, climb objects and make jumps.
IBTimes UK has contacted EA and is awaiting a response.