Recently, a forum member of MMO-Champion posted a finding of “Eye of Azshara” in the TMview (European Trademark & Design website which keeps tracks on Trademarks filled around the world).
Note: However, it hasn’t been posted by any MMO-Champion writer nor posted on the front page of MMO-Champion.
Personally, I check the United States Trademark website at least once a week. There is no “Eye of Azshara” trademark in the US Patent & Trademark Office website at the moment of this posting.
When I saw the “Eye of Azshara Trademark” forum post, and double-checked the trademark in the US website and didn’t find it, my natural reaction was to be skeptic.
Of course, “if” Blizzard Entertainment filled the trademark seen in TMview (which I doubt)… it might show up eventually on the US trademark website; but there was one precedent already where someone faked a trademark. Anyone remembers “The Dark Below” trademark that appeared as registered by Blizzard Entertainment? When The Dark Below trademark was first mentioned in the internet I couldn’t find a trace of it in the US trademark office. I was skeptical and with good reason. It turned out to be a hoax.
The Eye of Azshara is now in the bullseye of fans as a registered trademark.
There’s a saying: Not everything that shines is gold (translated from spanish). Meaning: “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
Signs this “Eye of Azshara” might be a hoax:
1. Eye of Azshara is not currently listed in the United States Patents & Trademark Office website.
2. The TMview lists Eye of Azshara as registered in BX.
3. Read the TMview image above. Under “Current trademark status” it says: “Application Filed” (i.e. Warlords of Draenor says: “Application Published”)
I looked up the code BX and it means “Benelux”. Benelux is “a union of states comprising three neighbouring countries in midwestern Europe: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.”
Searching all the trademarks filled by Blizzard Entertainment in TMview, none of them except for “Eye of Azshara” was registered in BX (Benelux).
Conclusion: Eye of Azshara is very unlikely to have been registered by Blizzard Entertainment.
Update: Digging who filed Eye of Azshara, I found that the person who apparently registered Eye of Azshara supposedly lives in Dublin). I searched the full address listed in the application in Google Maps and it is in Ireland (2:31 hours away from where Blizzard Entertainment has an office — Cork, Ireland). I’ll keep watch on the US Patent & Trademark Office website. If it shows up there, then it would be legit. Otherwise, take “Eye of Azshara” rumors with a grain of salt.
Update (Nov 1/8:40pm): I went to The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) website where Eye of Azshara was filed. I attempted to create a funny trademark application, but at the end of the application submission it asked me to pay 240 Euros either directly (VISA/MasterCard) or by bank transfer.
The red text says: “if the application is refused the fees will not be refunded.” Interesting.
It is either legit or someone actually paid 240 Euros for a prank that lasts only 1 week (BlizzCon starts on November 7, 2014).
Update (Nov 1/8:55pm): Continued research on who appears to have filed the Eye of Azshara application. It wasn’t the name of a person, but rather an Attorneys Office name:
”European Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys
FRKelly is a leading specialist in intellectual property law. We understand that your creative output is inextricably linked to your business success. Whether you’ve made a technical invention, designed a product, or created a brand for your products or services, we can help you find the best way of protecting those ideas.
With offices in Dublin and Belfast, FRKelly offers our clients a complete range of Irish, European and International patent, trade mark, design and copyright services; always with a professional and client-focused approach.
Specialties: Patents, Trademarks, Copyright, Designs, Maintenance (Renewals)
Update (Nov 2): Hearthpwn shares their thoughts about the Eye of Azshara trademark. The Eye of Azshara might refer to Bilgewater Harbor — which is located at the center of the Azshara region, north of Orgrimmar. In addition, many community fansites and influencers got posters featuring goblin schematics. Add to that the latest November Season 2014 card back is goblin-themed. All those potential clues might point to a Hearthstone expansion based on the goblins.
The Dark Below
“Wait, but The Dark Below wasn’t a fake/hoax. Bungie’s Destiny filed The Dark Below…”
The Dark Below was in fact a hoax orchestrated by an anonymous troll. Blizzard Entertainment sent a special invitation to all media including Blizzplanet to GamesCom 2013 which stated:
“We’re making a special announcement that’s sure to capture the attention of the Heavens, Burning Hells, and all the shadowed places that lie between.” (read more at Gamespot)
The troll used the hype to submit an application for a trademark titled “The Dark Below” as the “all the shadowed places that lie between“-part kinda fit with The Dark Below, and there was a reference to the location in the Warcraft RPG books and in the Vash’jir quests in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
The Dark Below was an application (via MMO-Champion), not a registered trademark. A registered trademark costs about $275 in United States. An application is free and it can be submitted by anyone. Exactly what a troll would do to mislead people in the eve of the GamesCom 2013 hype … and the BlizzCon 2014 hype.
Yes, Bungie registered a Dark Below trademark for Destiny. But that was time later, either as a coincidence or as humor taken from all the internet fuzz over the proven-false-rumors of Blizzard trademarking The Dark Below.