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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:04 pm 
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Hey guys,
So I have been working to put some 8-bit chiptunes onto a NES cartridge using Rainwarriors awesome EZNSF program.

We are almost done with the software and are now working on the graphic design. I was told that Nintendo is very protective of their brand and can be very litigious. I dont want to get sued. Other than not using the nintendo names / logos on our packaging, is there anything else we need to be aware of?

For our graphic design for the label and box art we are trying to replicate the layout and overall design of the NES label (picture attached), but we are replacing the nintendo logos with a similar looking Pill with the musicians name. Do you guys think I will get in trouble?

We are also planning on putting the same music and general artwork onto a 12" vinyl record.
Thanks for your help!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:20 pm 
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On the one hand, do I think Nintendo's going to bother with you? Probably not.

On the other hand, that gold seal is definitely in danger of being trademark infringement: it's close enough to be easily confused—just changing the word isn't good enough. I wouldn't use anything reminiscent of the original seal at all.

The red rounded rectangle logotype is likely also a problem.


Last edited by lidnariq on Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:21 pm 
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This is the box design we want to use, still working on a few changes


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:21 pm 
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lidnariq wrote:
On the one hand, do I think Nintendo's going to bother with you? Probably not.

On the other hand, that seal is definitely in danger of being trademark infringement: it's close enough to be easily confused—just changing the word isn't good enough. I wouldn't use anything reminiscent of the original seal at all.


Gotcha that is good feedback


Last edited by 5svn on Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:22 pm 
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Yeah, I got ninja'd. I think it would be too, because red and rounded rectangle.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:30 am 
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Regarding the Seal of Quality, didn't Nintendo go after a book project that used, among other things, a knockoff version of that seal?

Also, speaking generally, why do homebrew people always try to replicate the black box art? It was not a universal NES design. It was only for first party titles. Not even simple arcade-like games like "Pac-Man" or "Galaga" used them if they came from third parties.

So, yeah, I get that you want your cartridge to look like a genuine product from back in the day (minus possible copyright violations). That's why you use an originally looking shell as well as, I assume, the correct box dimensions. I did the same with my game.

But a black label with a pixelated artwork doesn't indicate "NES game", it indicates specifically "NES game published by Nintendo itself". If you had been a third party developer for Nintendo, you wouldn't have used that design even back in the earliest days of 1985 and 1986.
Konami, Capcom, Namco etc.: None of their games use this style.

So, unless you want to evoke the feeling that your album would have been published by Nintendo itself, your box does not look authentic for a third party developer from the NES days.

Also, why do you label a music album under the "Action Series" banner?


And P.S.:

Even ignoring copyright issues, I never understood the need for a developer to put a quality label of his own name on the box.
RetroUSB made a nice joke out of it by including a seal of quality, and then the logo is an actual seal, i.e. the animal.

But if company X produces a cartridge, why do they include an "Official X Seal" on their cartridge?
Well, yeah, you are that company. Of course you approve of your own product.

For Nintendo, it makes sense: They were a console manufacturer. And they gave the seal to the game manufacturers.
But a game manufacturer giving his own seal to his own game is just redundant.
You never had a "Konami Seal of Quality", indicating that "Castlevania", which has the regular Konami logo on it anyway (since it was developed and published by Konami), is actually approved of Konami.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:58 am 
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Tengen had its own seal, resembling the ❖ Black Diamond Minus White X. It resembles the Diamond Shape With a Dot Inside (U+1F4A0) even more closely, but I cannot include that character in this post because forums.nesdev.com uses an outdated version of MySQL that supports only the Basic Multilinguial Plane (code points up to U+FFFD).

Google Images: tengen seal of quality

(Incidentally, after a series of acquisitions, Tengen is now one of the T's in AT&T.)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:34 am 
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Yup, totally pointless thing: Tengen certifies their own games.

Nintendo did it because there's the possibility that there are non-pirate, non-copyright-infringing, totally legit NES games that are still not licensed by Nintendo the console manufacturer, so the seal is to distinguish between licensed and unlicensed developers. (And consequently, of course they have to put the seal on their own games as well.)

But what is a Tengen Seal of Quality good for? In what situation could one say: "This and that game didn't match the standards to receive the Tengen Seal of Quality", while still talking about a game that was actually released?

Maybe I should invent a Den Kat Games Seal of Quality to distinguish between my self-programmed games that I stand behind and my self-programmed games that I reject and where I don't want people to buy them. :roll:

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