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Takes Two
Takes Two

It Takes Two Trademark Abandoned After Take-Two Claim

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Hazelight has abandoned the trademark on their latest game It Takes Two, which happens to be nominated for Game of The Year at the Video Game Awards after Publisher Take-Two claimed that the title infringed on their name. Take-Two, best known as the publisher behind franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Borderlands, filed this claim shorts after the release of the game earlier this year, however now it looks like developer Hazlight was forced to abandon ownership of the name shortly after.

In comments made by the company to Eurogamer, it was stated that the company could not comment on the ongoing litigation though they are “hopeful it will be resolved.” Hazelight did not dispute that they had been forced to give up the trademark, which can be seen here in this notice of abandonment, shortly after the claim was filed.

This has led to questions of whether the game will be renamed or rebranded moving forward, which Hazelight is currently remaining closed-lipped about. This will also affect any plans the company had to turn the game into a franchise with sequels and the like.

This is only one of the many claims that company Take-Two has filed recently. The company also landed in hot water with audiences after large amounts of filings were lodged again modders, especially those that have upgraded classic Grand Theft Auto titles using newer engines, which seemed to pave the runway for the company to release their own upgraded versions of the PS2 and Xbox era Grand Theft Auto games, which have since been panned by the audiences.

The US Patent also shows several filings to contest numerous names in connection to terms like “rockstar”, “social club”, “mafia”, “civilization”. The irony of this is that their title Red Dead Redemption 2 was the subject of a filing by the Pinkerton Detective Agency due to their depiction in that game, losing the case due to their agency being commonly associated with the wild west, and therefore falling under fair use. The filings in regards to ‘mafia’ might imply that Take-Two believes these things should only go one way.

To make this clear, abandoning the trademark of it takes two is not an admission of infringement. Hazelight is a far small developer and Take-Two has the most profitable IP in all of its existence, giving Take-Two the ability to extend and prolong the case beyond Hazelight’s means to contest it.

Video games industry lawyer Richard Hoeg discussed Take-Two’s common use of trademark suits, stating:

You can start to see applicants peremptorily limit their own applications to (try to) avoid getting extended out. As well as plenty of folks with legitimate applications simply choosing not to fight by defaulting on the opposition. If you look at the Trial and Appeals Board, you can see that Take-Two has filed at least extension requests for 25 challenges in the last three months. Most other game companies go back 6 or 7 years to get to that number. Take-Two is being very, very aggressive.

It Takes Two, by comparison, isn’t a company name, and it’s of limited use in any event due to the sheer number of goods and services that already use the phrase. I would suspect they simply wind up going untrademarked and relying on copyright.

It Takes Two which in actuality did most likely steal its name, though from the Marvin Gaye song of the same name which is also used in trailers, is a cooperative experience about a husband and wife about to go through a divorce.  Its focus on two players having to constantly work together using different abilities makes the game a very fun experience.

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