Hazelight Studios, the makers of the co-op game It Takes Two, were faced with a trademark dispute from game publisher Take-Two around the time of their game’s release. Hazelight can’t comment too much, but they’ve let go of the trademark.
That writes Eurogamer, who spoke with Hazelight. The studio “cannot comment on pending cases” and “hopes the case will be resolved soon.” The USPTO shows that Hazelight’s It Takes Two trademark has been marked as expressly abandoned since March 30 of this year. Take-Two filed a protest against the trademark last year. A copyright expert told Eurogamer that it is to be expected that Hazelight will settle for the copyright in the game and will no longer pursue the It Takes Two trademark.
According to Eurogamer’s research, Take-Two isn’t just targeting Hazelight. In the past year, the company has filed numerous claims against trademarks and companies using terms similar to Take-Two’s products and names. This concerns, for example, the Chinese trademark Starrocks, clothing brand Max Fayne and many smaller companies that have ‘rockstar’ in their name. Rockstar Games is one of the daughters of Take-Two.
According to Richard Hoeg, the games industry lawyer and copyright expert who spoke to Eurogamer, Take-Two is “very aggressive” on this front compared to similar companies. “Take-Two has filed for renewals in 25 trademark cases in the past three months. Most other game companies take 6 or 7 years to get to that amount.”
Take-Two is not only active in the field of trademarks. The company regularly takes mods for Grand Theft Auto games offline with dmca requests and has sued the creators of two GTA reverse engineer projects.
Notable Take-Two games and franchises include Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Borderlands, Bioshock, Civilization, LA Noire, Mafia, XCOM, The Outer Worlds, Max Payne, and Kerbal Space Program.