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View Full Version : Who had a trademark on "Mega Drive" in 1989?



KillerBean2
05-13-2012, 06:01 AM
So, there's this old Danish children's book called "Rubber Tarzan" that is known and loved by most Danes. The book was filmatized in the 80's and the film was also called "Rubber Tarzan". But now that there's a 3D animated remake in the making the producers are suddenly forced to call the new movie "Rubber T", because apparently Disney owns the legal rights to anything with the name "Tarzan". It's completely ridiculous.

That got me thinking about the whole MegaDrive vs. Genesis thing.

I know that Sega wasn't able to get the legal rights to "Mega Drive" in the US. But who or what had the trademark in the first place? Was it a big or small company, and how massive was the brand "Mega drive" in the US in 1989? Do they/it still exist, and do they still have the trademark?

Just curious as to what forced Sega to re-brand the poor MegaDrive.
It had to be something ridiculous ;)

makinagenesis
05-13-2012, 06:47 AM
we found out the other day that an american dildo company had the name trademarked, also the words ' MEGA POWER' in reference to the RPM of the love machine, i think my dad owns one

j_factor
05-13-2012, 06:52 AM
It was Mega Drive Systems Inc, a computer hardware company. They made high-end storage devices. They were unknown in 1989 but a little better-known around 1994-96 (still far from a household name). They either changed their name, or merged, or got bought out by a company called Data Direct Networks around 1998. As far as I can tell, they did not use the name "Mega Drive" on any of their products from then on, but they did retain the megadrive.com domain for a long time. That company does not seem to exist anymore. I'm sure the trademark is dead.

ItellYaHuat
05-13-2012, 04:38 PM
Both a blessing and a curse. Both are great names, though I slightly prefer the name Mega Drive a bit myself. Mega CD does sound better than Sega CD.

Olls
05-13-2012, 04:53 PM
we found out the other day that an american dildo company had the name trademarked


It was Mega Drive Systems Inc, a computer hardware company.

Lmao. So which one is it?

cowboyscowboys
05-13-2012, 06:01 PM
Both a blessing and a curse. Both are great names, though I slightly prefer the name Mega Drive a bit myself. Mega CD does sound better than Sega CD.

And Genesis sounds better then Mega Drive. I think they should have called it Genesis in the Europe as well after they couldn't secure the North American rights to the name. Let Mega Drive be the name of the system in the only region it failed Japan.

TmEE
05-13-2012, 06:37 PM
biblical stuff bleh

grimm
05-13-2012, 07:08 PM
biblical stuff bleh

Agreed.

Gogogadget
05-13-2012, 07:25 PM
I think Genesis is kinda tacky sounding, Megadrive for me personally.

bpguimaraes23
05-13-2012, 07:30 PM
Agreed.

Me too.

Olls
05-13-2012, 07:48 PM
Mega Drive is the original name, so that's what it is.

Olls
05-13-2012, 07:56 PM
The Famicom is a different console. It doesn't even resemble the NES.

tz101
05-13-2012, 07:57 PM
Biblical stuff, yeah!

Fixed that...

Gogogadget
05-13-2012, 08:50 PM
The main difference between that comparison being, the NES was a re-design of the Famicom (even down to the cartridges), where as the Megadrive was actually called the Megadrive in practically every area in the world except for North America, and if they could they'd probably of called it the Mega Drive there too.

Olls
05-13-2012, 08:53 PM
That's not the point. Famicom is the original name because it came out in Japan first, but we wouldn't call the NES a Famicom.

The main point is that everybody in Europe will prefer the name Mega Drive, while the vast majority of people in North America will forever call it the "Genesis", and you're just going to have to deal with that.

No, that IS the point. As in: your comparison doesn't hold water.
The Genesis is a Mega Drive with a different name slapped on, because they had no other choice.
The NES is a complete redesign.
What people prefer to call it, is not relevant: the Mega Drive came first and is the original.

Gogogadget
05-13-2012, 08:56 PM
The point is that they called it the Genesis in North America, and nothing's going to change that.

Nothing does change that, but nothing changes the fact that the Genesis was a name slapped on due to copyright issues, everyone who matters knows the real name was Megadrive, though.

cowboyscowboys
05-13-2012, 09:06 PM
Wow I never knew people would defend the weaker name of the console so hard. More Genesis were sold then Mega Drive's so it must be the winner.

Guntz
05-13-2012, 09:51 PM
Oh goody, more eddie posts...

He fails to realize that the Genesis was called Mega Drive in every part of the world... Except North America. It IS technically called Mega Drive, therefore.

Guntz
05-13-2012, 10:00 PM
It's healthy to at least admit that it's real name is Mega Drive... Call it the Sega Add-on Base System for all I care, or anyone else here for that matter.

KnightWarrior
05-14-2012, 01:59 AM
Doesn't matter to me, I like both names

tim333
05-14-2012, 02:18 AM
This is very silly.

Why argue about this? Not once have I ever thought of the name difference with any emotion involved at all. "Right," I think when I see the name Mega Drive, "That's what it was called elsewhere." No emotion whatever. Having said that, I will always call it the Genesis. What I got for Christmas when I was 6 was a Genesis. All the carts I have now are for the Genesis. Why would I call it anything else?

Mega Drive is the original name, but it is not exclusively the "real name." Causes don't matter; the fact is that the console was officially sold under both names. Both names are therefore real names. Dance Dance Revolution was only called Dancing Stage in Europe, but that doesn't mean Dancing Stage isn't a real name.

makinagenesis
05-14-2012, 03:51 AM
http://www.sextoyshopping.co.uk/shopimages/products/normal/0524530-0000-Mega_Drive_Dildo.jpg

this also has BLAST processing

j_factor
05-14-2012, 10:16 AM
http://www.sextoyshopping.co.uk/shopimages/products/normal/0524530-0000-Mega_Drive_Dildo.jpg

this also has BLAST processing

WELCOMETOTHENEXTLEVEL

Gunstar Zero
05-14-2012, 12:29 PM
Every time this conversation comes up I have to do this, hopefully I'll eventually reach the blind people who just squat on any culture they mistakenly think is inferior to them. The word Genesis is Greek and means "origin". Sega's use of it refered to a kind of origin, espicially in North America, as the Master System really didn't take off here. It was the birth of a new age for Sega. The first book of the Bible is called Genesis, again origin, from the greek vulgate. The Hebrew scripture, the first book of the Torah, is called Bereshit (english characters) and means "In the begining" following the common Jewish custom of naming a book after the first few words of it contents. Ypu'd be fresh out of rings and headed for the bottomless pit in mystic cave zone to believe Sega, a company whose licenese contributed directly to a rating requirement on games, was actually trying to appeal to a christian audince and therefore chose there name on that basis. Clearly they gave us to much credit. (Yes I'm aware of Mega Drive being copy righted, I'm responding to the idea that the name Genesis was chossen because it was "biblical stuff....blah..."

QuickSciFi
05-14-2012, 12:35 PM
^^Dude. Don't quote him, please. :daze:

tz101
05-14-2012, 12:36 PM
My guess is that maybe in the beginning (no pun intended) of the Genesis in North America, some Christians fell for the name and bought it. After Sega became synonymous with violence and blood and prompted the game rating system, most were no longer falling for it. Did it help sales numbers among Christians in the beginning? Maybe, but don't know that it was ever documented.

Yes, "Genesis" was intended to mean "new beginning" among Sega fans. Nothing else.

sheath
05-14-2012, 02:04 PM
In my experience here in the "buckle of the 'bible belt" any christian stigma would only hurt sales. I would think this would even be more pronounced with entertainment devices. Most people view christianity as a fun killer, it just wouldn't make sense to invoke that image for a game console. When I was a kid in a nominally christian household I saw Genesis and thought "completely new."

j_factor
05-14-2012, 03:03 PM
I thought the name Genesis was simply to conjure a complete break with the NES era, a new beginning in gaming. The idea of consoles coming in "generations" was not quite yet firmly established.

xelement5x
05-14-2012, 07:06 PM
And all of a sudden my childhood is ruined.

Wesker
05-15-2012, 08:40 PM
And Genesis sounds better then Mega Drive. I think they should have called it Genesis in the Europe as well after they couldn't secure the North American rights to the name. Let Mega Drive be the name of the system in the only region it failed Japan.

Fortunately they didn't do that.


The main difference between that comparison being, the NES was a re-design of the Famicom (even down to the cartridges), where as the Megadrive was actually called the Megadrive in practically every area in the world except for North America, and if they could they'd probably of called it the Mega Drive there too.

True. The Master System had the same redesign aspect. It was originally the Sega Mark III in Japan and then it was completely redesigned as the Sega Master System. Not only for North America and Europe, but also for the very same Japanese region with the release of the Japanese Master System.

The Mega Drive situation is a different thing altogether.

Barone
05-15-2012, 09:20 PM
Fortunately they didn't do that.
Thanks.

old man
05-15-2012, 09:56 PM
Bereshit

I can see why they changed it to Genesis.

:fail:

Thenewguy
05-15-2012, 10:31 PM
There's a lot of things that have different names in other countries, but it doesn't mean that one name is any more right than the other.Unless you write for Wikipedia of course, at which point its America's way or the highway.

QuickSciFi
05-15-2012, 10:44 PM
Alright. Seeing how this is turning into a joke of a thread for my beloved Sega Genesis/MD, I'll post what I've, for years, have understood the U.S. trademark owner of the name MegaDrive has been:

http://www.megadrive.com.sg/

j_factor
05-16-2012, 12:38 AM
Alright. Seeing how this is turning into a joke of a thread for my beloved Sega Genesis/MD, I'll post what I've, for years, have understood the U.S. trademark owner of the name MegaDrive has been:

http://www.megadrive.com.sg/

See here (http://web.archive.org/web/19961110140537/http://megadrive.com/MDsinc.html)

Thunderblaze16
05-16-2012, 01:07 AM
So I guess it's safe to bring my Genesis to church since it relates.

QuickSciFi
05-16-2012, 02:56 AM
See here (http://web.archive.org/web/19961110140537/http://megadrive.com/MDsinc.html)

Is this official? Every time I research on this subject it always ends-up in that Transmission engine parts manufacturer. I'd be happy just to learn it was at least something related to computing after all.

Gunstar Zero
05-16-2012, 01:09 PM
Little known fact, Sega of America had initially proposed naming the console the "Sega First Letter to the Philippians by the Apostle Paul".

makinagenesis
05-16-2012, 03:34 PM
Little known fact, Sega of America had initially proposed naming the console the "Sega First Letter to the Philippians by the Apostle Paul".

http://1001awkwardmoments.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/you-lie-i-hate-liars.jpg

j_factor
05-16-2012, 10:24 PM
Is this official? Every time I research on this subject it always ends-up in that Transmission engine parts manufacturer. I'd be happy just to learn it was at least something related to computing after all.

What do you mean, official? That was a real website, and a real company.

Da_Shocker
06-04-2014, 07:05 PM
Makes sense now.

HailToApples
06-04-2014, 08:00 PM
Genesis for me. Not only do I live in the US, but Mega Drive sounds like some kind of car dealership promotion.

"BUCKLE UP FOR HONDA'S MEGA DRIVE HOLIDAY SALES EVENT"

PHANTOM2040
06-05-2014, 01:12 AM
Mega drive sounds like some kind of zip drive upgrade gimmick name. It's kind of generic sounding. I guess Genesis is also a gimmick name. I guess it means something like "a new era of gaming" which is dumb since every new system could claim something like that. The Super Master System could have worked as long as every game didn't have super on the front of it like Nintendo did. Or every game after that having a 64. Jeez, those assholes. If it was called Sega 16, it would have been cool although I think that was the name of one of Sega's arcade boards so that was already taken. People will like whatever they grew up with better. It's more nostalgia/tradition.

Dragonmaster Lou
06-05-2014, 08:05 AM
The Super Master System could have worked as long as every game didn't have super on the front of it like Nintendo did.
Umm, Super Hang On, Super Thunder Blade, Super Hydlide, Super Shinobi (Revenge of Shinobi's name in Japan), etc...

PHANTOM2040
06-05-2014, 08:09 AM
Umm, Super Hang On, Super Thunder Blade, Super Hydlide, Super Shinobi (Revenge of Shinobi's name in Japan), etc...

You don't understand the point but that's ok. It's not annoying because it's not tacked on because it's part of the name of the console.

Dragonmaster Lou
06-05-2014, 11:13 AM
You don't understand the point but that's ok. It's not annoying because it's not tacked on because it's part of the name of the console.

Fair enough, although I do recall several Sega CD games that had "CD" tacked onto the name. I think there may have been some overseas games that had "Mega" tacked on too.

The Jackal
06-06-2014, 06:21 PM
the name of that console is mega drive or ( megadrive )

No, it's two words, not one!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a8/Megadrive_logo.png

Two!

I apologize, but that really winds me up when people pronounce it like that. So annoying.

Gentlegamer
06-15-2014, 11:16 PM
Genesis is the greatest home console name of all time.

Most systems branded Mega Drive were 50hz slow motion machines, nothing mega about them.

Despatche
06-20-2014, 01:50 AM
50Hz isn't supposed to be slow motion at all; that was entirely an issue with the developers of a given game either refusing to (every US and JP dev ever) or feeling like they shouldn't (ever EU dev ever) program their games to match.

"Mega Drive" was the original name; that's all there is to it. This has nothing to do with "liking" one name over the other; if the system had been "Genesis" and released only in the US as "Mega Drive" instead, nothing would have changed. Really, the whole "Family Computer"/"Famicom" issue is far more interesting.

Yes, "Megadrive" is completely wrong. You'd think it'd be all over Japan, due to how katakana works, but it's not. Instead, the term is almost entirely centered in Europe, a region where the console had always been released as the "Mega Drive".

("Sega 16" is way more generic than these other names, because it's pretty much a description of the hardware.)

Firebrandx
08-23-2015, 09:37 AM
... and if they could they'd probably of called it the Mega Drive there too.

Yes, they probably would have. I do remember discovering shortly after I got the Genesis in 1989 that I could boot-swap games and bring up the original Japanese version of the game. I used to do this for Revenge of Shinobi, which turned it into The Super Shinobi when I boot-swapped it.

Andy
08-23-2015, 09:48 AM
'genesis' can remind you of phil collins' existence so 'mega drive' is a far superior name.

midnightrider
08-23-2015, 09:55 AM
^Not if you remember the Peter Gabriel era more.

thedaemon
08-23-2015, 10:23 AM
^Not if you remember the Peter Gabriel era more.
Haha We are showing our age a bit.

To chime in my 2 cents. I always call it Genesis unless I am speaking to someone not from USA. Then I say Mega Drive. But since I grew up with Genesis I have to translate it in my head to Mega Drive. I think both are fine but prefer Genesis. Mega Drive does sound more gimmicky to me, but why be bothered?

retrospiel
08-23-2015, 04:07 PM
As some of you probably already heard, it was Sega founder David Rosen who chose the name Genesis over Mega Drive for the North-American market. Not because of a trademark dispute but because he wasn't happy with the name Mega Drive.

Zebbe
08-23-2015, 04:17 PM
Yeah, it's in the book "Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works".

Gogogadget
08-23-2015, 11:05 PM
Hundreds of crappy movies with the sub-title Genesis has ruined that name forever.

Whenever I see a movie or whatever and it's called something Genesis I literally just groan. It's up there with Resurrection, Rebellion, Nemesis and other such generic titles as "we ran out of ideas LONG ago so whatever". It should of been called Master System 2: Electric Boogaloo of course. That is money.

JumpingRyle
08-24-2015, 03:16 PM
Translated from the book The Game War by Eiji Ooshita originally published in 1993:

"The name was changed from Mega Drive to Genesis because "Mega Drive" was a term that invited misunderstanding. Both "mega" and "drive" were words that were closely associated with personal computers. In America, which had a huge personal computer market, there was concern that the Mega Drive would be mistaken for a computer system rather than a game machine."

The book is based on interviews with Nakayama and Rosen so I think it's probably accurate.

Melf
08-24-2015, 03:34 PM
As some of you probably already heard, it was Sega founder David Rosen who chose the name Genesis over Mega Drive for the North-American market. Not because of a trademark dispute but because he wasn't happy with the name Mega Drive.


Translated from the book The Game War by Eiji Ooshita originally published in 1993:

"The name was changed from Mega Drive to Genesis because "Mega Drive" was a term that invited misunderstanding. Both "mega" and "drive" were words that were closely associated with personal computers. In America, which had a huge personal computer market, there was concern that the Mega Drive would be mistaken for a computer system rather than a game machine."

The book is based on interviews with Nakayama and Rosen so I think it's probably accurate.

There's also an interesting rumor behind how the Rosen actually decided on the name "Genesis." A former Atari programmer supposedly came up with the name for a competition back when Sega was negotiating distribution with Atari. Negotiations were reportedly very far along when they collapsed, which may give this story some truth.


The machine we now know as the Sega Genesis was originally going to be called the Tomahawk after Sega found that they couldn’t use the name Mega Drive in the US, somebody called Mega Drive Systems had already taken the name. However the guys at Atari hated the name and the new Chicago office, set up by Atari specifically to develop games for the Lynx and this new machine, came up with some ideas of their own. Here is a quote from ex-Atari programmer Scott D. Williamson, who programmed S.T.U.N. Runner and Roadblasters for the Lynx. The “we” he refers to is he and Ed Schneider, coder of Turbo Sub and Toki on the Lynx. Steve Ryno programmed a number of games for Atari including Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure on the Lynx.

“We were originally hired to write games for the Tomahawk. That was the name that Sega gave their new Mega Drive system for North America. From what I know, Atari VP Larry Siegel had been brokering a deal where I believe Atari would be the North American (possibly worldwide) distributor for the system and its games. Sega was looking for an "aggressive American" name for the console, that's what led to the name Tomahawk, but we didn't like it very much. We had an office contest to see who could come up with a better name, I think the prize was a steak dinner. Steve Ryno came up with the name Genesis, either "as the console that would redefine gaming", or after the effect in the Star Trek 2 movie, either way it stuck. The deal later fell through and I don't know if Steve ever got his prize, but that's is seriously how the Sega Genesis got its name.

Al Nilsen has confirmed to me that several names, like "Cyclone," were considered, but he doesn't recall the Atari portion of it. I think there's a possibility, but perhaps only Rosen knows for sure.