Halo-branded bullets? Microsoft said no way

Someone was making Halo-branded bullets, and Microsoft wasn't happy about it. The bullets appeared in the show "Dual Survival" on the Discovery channel, and a gamer watching the show noticed the distinct Halo font and logo on the box of the ammunition, branded as "Halo-Point" rounds, before shooting an email to Kotaku.

The rounds are manufactured by US ammunition company Liberty Ammunition, and the "Halo-Point" brand is a pun on hollow-point rounds, a type of bullet that is designed to expand upon impact  to prevent it from exiting the target. Even though Liberty Ammunition primarily produces ammo for military and other restricted use, the Halo-Point rounds appear to be for civil use; after all, what's the point of branding your bullet in this way if only the military can use it?

It turns out that Microsoft didn't work with Liberty to produce these rounds at all, and the logo and iconic Halo font was used without authorization from Microsoft. The company discovered that their brand was being used without permission late last year, and delivered a statement to Kotaku.

Microsoft does not have a licensing agreement with Liberty Ammunition, or any gun or weapons manufacturer, and the company does not have permission to use "Halo" branding on any of its products. When we discovered the unauthorized use last fall, Microsoft contacted Liberty Ammunition to demand removal of all "Halo" branding from its products and advertising, to which Liberty Ammunition agreed. Microsoft is following up again to ensure full compliance.

While a statement couldn't be obtained from the manufacturer of the ammo, it was clear that they had heard some stern words from Microsoft as all references to "Halo-Point" have been removed. Now the hollow-point rounds are being referred to as "Liberty Ammunition Civil-Defense" on their website. It also turns out that the company tried to trademark "Halo-Point" for use with their bullets, although the trademark is now dead.

Despite Microsoft's game studios developing shooters, clearly they weren't happy to have their logos and brands used on actual ammunition. We're not surprised either as recent shootings in the United States have re-kindled the debate on the link between video games and real-life violence.

Source: Kotaku

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27 Comments

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what fracken person needs hollow point rounds for self protection that's just freakin ludicrous no wonder there's so many redneck trigger happy loony arse dip****s in the US running around shooting people yo all just make it far to easy for them

are we overlooking that instead of them calling the bullets hallow points they wanted to call them halo point word play guys gat to love it

If you'd *intentionally* come and consider (not even as much as actually do, but unmistakeably express the desire to) harm my person, my relatives or my property, not only I'd shoot you with hollow points, but I'd set you on fire afterwards.

Too much liberties are given to drunkards, thieves, murderers, rapists and maniacs. *That's* nonsense and yet it continues.

The idea of civil defense is to prevent harm being done in the first place, not to react and fight for my life and then spend three months and thousands in hospital to fix me. I've had that crap done to me. No more, if I have to say something about that.

ingramator said,
Wow who cares if they're called halo point...

Microsoft has to defend their trademarks or they risk losing them.

If you don't enforce your trademark, it's no longer valid. If anyone could prove that MS found out ( ie maybe they sent an email to MS about it ), and nothing happened, that would invalidate the MS Trademark, and anyone could use the font and logo for anything.

ingramator said,
Yeah I guess but it's kinda like whatever I'd let it slip!

And you would lose your trademark. It's a legal requirement.

rfirth said,

And you would lose your trademark. It's a legal requirement.

Sorry a legal requirement for what? If they didn't even know it existed before and to be perfectly honest halo is a normal English word I don't see how keeping the name as halo point is any kind of trademark violation.

Tim cites this from one source and if you try to search halo point the only result you get is from that news source and this page here... its hardly a concern and I don't think Microsoft should even bother. Picking on the small guys with basically no legal team isn't something we should condone and celebrate.

ingramator said,

If they didn't even know it existed before and to be perfectly honest halo is a normal English word I don't see how keeping the name as halo point is any kind of trademark violation.

They're using the Halo name and the font, it's a clear use of a MS trademark being used without their consent. As other have said: If they don't defend it, they risk losing it.

ingramator said,

Sorry a legal requirement for what? If they didn't even know it existed before and to be perfectly honest halo is a normal English word I don't see how keeping the name as halo point is any kind of trademark violation.

Tim cites this from one source and if you try to search halo point the only result you get is from that news source and this page here... its hardly a concern and I don't think Microsoft should even bother. Picking on the small guys with basically no legal team isn't something we should condone and celebrate.

It's the font that is at issue, or at least to me. I agree that the work "halo" is fine and can't be trademarked and it's close to "hollow" but it's a distinct difference between the tips of these and most regular hollow-points, so could probably get away with it if they hadn't copied the font and all.

ingramator said,
Sorry a legal requirement for what? If they didn't even know it existed before and to be perfectly honest halo is a normal English word I don't see how keeping the name as halo point is any kind of trademark violation.

Once they become aware of it, it is a legal requirement that they defend it. If they don't, they will lose the trademark and then everyone would be able to use it. You can't only defend it sometimes.

Yes, halo is a real word in the English language, but the problem is really the font.

MS did the right thing. If some lunatic went out and shot people with these bullets and it turned out that he also played Halo, MS would get a lot of bad press.

No no, I'm entirely serious. Microsoft could have made some nice money on the side by licensing the halo trademark, but opted instead to keep the separation between game violence and real gun violence.

Also, as Enron said below, if someone went and committed a mass shooting with these rounds, the fallout for Microsoft and the halo franchise would have been catastrophic.

Majesticmerc said,
Good guy Microsoft - creates violent game, but doesn't promote real violence.

Microsoft has been an important contractor of the Army since decades ago.