The former president of US developer Technopop has accused Eidos Interactive of trademark infringement, claiming that the publisher has no right to use the name Zero Tolerance - the title of Technopop's 1994 Sega Genesis title.
Last month Eidos announced that its forthcoming PS2 and Xbox shooter Roll Call was to be retitled Zero Tolerance - City Under Fire. In response, a Cease and Desist notice was issued by Randel Reiss, former president of now defunct studio Technopop .
"As the sole owner of the worldwide copyright and trademark to the Zero Tolerance videogame, I have not granted permission in any way either orally or in writing to use the Zero Tolerance property," Reiss wrote in the order, adding that he is currently in the process of developing new Zero Tolerance properties.
"Frankly I am shocked and appalled that your legal counsel apparently put no effort whatsoever in attempting to communicate with me. All records and information regarding the Zero Tolerance name are clear and publicly available," Reiss claimed.
US website Game Law - which is owned and run by Reiss - claimed to have spoken with James O'Riordan, Eidos' legal VP, after the Cease and Desist order was issued.
According to Game Law, O'Riordan told the website that: "There is only one registered trademark for Zero Tolerance, and that is by SCi Eidos."
Game Law responded by claiming that Zero Tolerance is registered with the US patent office - to which O'Riordan is said to have replied, "I'll be looking into this."
Reiss alleged that Eidos is "Trying to cite a technicality that the [US patent office] site has the trademark cited as inactive. That's like saying that it's okay to rob someone's house because the door is unlocked."
Reiss went on to reiterate his claim that the trademark is still in use, saying that he had recently been contacted by a licensee who is currently developing a Zero Tolerance game for the PSP and was "extremely confused" by Eidos' actions.
"We may be forced to seek other legal remedies if Eidos continues to be so blatantly abusive to independent developers like us," Reiss concluded.
Eidos did not respond to repeated requests for comment.