Apparently there's a new controversy brewing, and a very serious one at that. Ready for it? It's about Skee-Ball.
You know, your favorite childhood arcade game of rolling the ball and trying to get it in a hole at the end of the runway?
So here's where there's an issue. According to Fox News: "There's a league called Brewskee-Ball where people drink beer while playing Skee-Ball. ... The people behind Skee-Ball aren't happy about their trademark named being used."
In 2005, the brains behind Brewskee-Ball wanted to "do it big," so they say they arranged a meeting with the CEO of Skee-Ball Inc. and told him about their vision.
"I told him, 'We kinda have this silly name for the league. It's called Brewskee-Ball.' He kinda chuckled a bit, shook my hand and said 'Go for it.'"
And they did. They started leagues all across the country. They even started national championships! But now Skee-Ball doesn't seem to be on board.
Fox News legal analyst Arthur Aidala says: "They don't want people going to the bar, playing Skee-Ball, drinking and then driving and killing someone. Then the cover of the New York Post is going to be 'Skee-Death.'"
Skee-Ball filed a lawsuit accusing the Brewskee-Ball creators of copyright infringement. In response, Brewskee-Ball filed a lawsuit arguing that Skee-Ball's trademark should be canceled because it's become generic.
In fact, many products that began as brand names have now become generic nouns. A trademark lawyer tells NPR aspirin, elevator and cellophane are just a few examples of this.
He says: "The law says that if you basically don't protect the trademark, at some point it will become a generic term. It will become free for anybody to use."
Brewskee-Ball has launched an online fundraising campaign to help pay for its legal fees. The league has also set up a campaign called "Skee The People" to generate support.
Looks like the phrase "It's just a game" doesn't apply here.