Take-Two Interactive has thrown a trademark claim at Hazelight Studio over It Takes Two.
The trademark claim was filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Take-Two shortly after the release of the puzzle game. This has forced Hazelight to abandon formal registration of the game’s name.
In a statement sent to Eurogamer, a Hazelight spokesperson said the company “cannot comment on ongoing disputes,” but are “hopeful it will be resolved.” It appears the studio did not dispute the trademark claim, as a notice of abandonment was sent to the USPTO.
Business analyst Mike Futter commented on the situation on Twitter, saying that although Hazelight has lost ownership of the game’s name, it doesn’t mean the studio will have to change the name of the game. “They could change it if they want to protect the name, but honestly, it’s probably not worth it to them to do that,” Futter said.
David Gurwin, the chair of the Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Group at Buchanon Ingersoll & Rooney, states that Hazelight still has “common law rights.” This just means the studio can continue to sell the game and use the It Take Two name based on usage, rather than formal registration. However, as Futter pointed out, this is more limited than just having the trademark.
Richard Hoeg commented on the trademark claim, saying “Take-Two is being very, very aggressive”, and has filed “extension requests for 25 challenges in the last three months.”
Take-Two Interactive has previously filed hundreds of trademark disputes with the USPTO, for words like “rockstar”, “mafia”, “social club”, and other words related to its IPs.