Stefan Heine in the Düsseldorf Regional Court: Who owns the German trademark rights to "Wordle"?
Martin Höke / dpa
The well-known German puzzle producer Stefan Heine is in a dispute with the »New York Times« before the district court in Düsseldorf.
It is about the rights to the word mark »Wordle«.
The online guessing game is a worldwide success and is played by millions of people every day.
The US newspaper had acquired the rights from inventor Josh Wardle for $1.2 million.
However, Heine and the US publisher secured the German trademark rights on the same day: February 1, 2022.
The New York Times, which runs a large mystery site, accuses Heine of having secured the German trademark rights in order to keep them out of the German market.
"Bad faith trademark application" or not?
It is an inadmissible »bad faith trademark application«.
She wants the Hamburger Heine, who became known through the distribution of the "Sudokus", to be banned from using the trademark by means of a temporary injunction.
Heine denies the allegation.
"I registered the trademark 'Wordle' on February 1, 2022 and therefore have the right to use the sign." The civil proceedings were opened on Monday, and the court plans to announce a decision on March 1.