The UQM project was built on the idea that only the words "Star Control" needed to be removed to make a version of SC2 that doesn't violate trademark. I'd argue that the SC3 contracts certainly gesture at the idea that the Orz "belong" to P&F, since why else would Atari/Accolade have licensed them? I'm not saying we're right - we never really had any particular legal backing to our beliefs, it's just how the community understood stuff.
Accolade needed a license from Paul and Fred because they represented that they held the copyrights to the aliens and setting of Star Control II which Star Control 3 wanted to use the specific expressions of. Without that license, they couldn't have, for instance, (IMO), had the Ur-Quan look at the way they did or have some of the ships look the way they did.
Similarly, Star Control: Origins can't have Ur-Quan that are substantially similar in expression to the Ur-Quan in SC 1/2/3 without a license from the copyright holder.
Let's use an example where people's emotional attachments may let them see a bit more clearly. Music.
If I want to use music owned by Riku, I have to license it from him same as Paul and Fred presumably did for SC2. However, if he has a song called "Dance of the Orz" I could contract someone else to make "Dance of the Orz" provided it was not the same song (or substantially similar) to Riku's version.
Anyone who has ever had to try to find a song on iTunes know how often song titles match. Why is that? Because copyrights don't cover words or short phrases. And yet, some of you are trying to seriously argue the equivalent of someone composing a song titled "Loved by the Sun" somehow could, via their copyright, prevent anyone else from having a song called "Loved by the Sun".
And, really, until Stardock moved to broaden their trademark, there wasn't nearly as much activity. Amateur legal hour got set off because the UQM project *IS* threatened by this new interpretation, and will continue to be until those trademarks are either shot down or licensed to the project.
Stardock hasn't "broadened" its trademark. Stardock nor anyone else, can broaden what a trademark is. It is not an "interpretation" of trademark law (new or otherwise).
UQM isn't "threatened" because it's not being used in commerce. I don't understand why you guys fail to recognize how straight-forward this is to answer: WHO would be using UQM in commerce? What is the legal entity that would be using UQM in commerce? Do you have a Tax ID for it? If you don't, knock off the fear mongering, please.