This week it became clear that the creators of “The Witcher” calmly and quietly, without attracting too much attention, registered the word “cyberpunk” as their trademark. But a vigilant public is not asleep, and a stroke of genius CD Projekt did not go unnoticed. Many appeared reasonable question arises: Is it now possible to use this term, because it is now completely owned by Polish company?
On the Internet, even a mini-HYIP. Not so, of course, like facial animation around Mass Effect: Andromeda, but all professionals we were concerned. CD Projekt, most likely, did not expect such a stir around the purely legal steps. Therefore, when curiosity and concern reached a certain level, the company has decided to launch an official release on the matter. Here we give the whole thing (of course, with full translation) and then bit us think – what is it all really mean?
What’s the buzz around the story of a trademark?
The short answer is roughly like this: we want to protect our work, and we are not going to use the trademark for aggressive purposes – we are talking exclusively about self-defense.
Why CD Projekt has registered the trademark “Cyberpunk”?
Fleshed out. When we received the rights to create video games in the universe, invented by Mike Pondsmitom, author and Cyberpunk 2013 Cyberpunk 2023 (verbal or tabletop RPG – here it is better to use the English term pen’n’paper), some brands Cyberpunk have already been registered in the R. Talsorian Games (company M. Pondsmita). In the 2011/2012-year CD Projekt was able to obtain the right to use these trademarks by itself R. Talsorian Games.
Cyberpunk 2077, based on pen’n’paper system has required us a lot of effort: this is a very ambitious project. We will try to make a great game – the best that we are capable of – but labor costs will be enormous. Of course, we must be sure that CD Projekt is the only entity entitled to use this particular name (Cyberpunk 2077) and circuit formation of such names.
In life, there are many examples of how companies are registered trademarks, are very similar to well-known brands, and then try to sell them for big money. Suppose we decide to make a sequel. There the likelihood that someone will forbid us to use the name Cyberpunk 2 or Cyberpunk 2078.
Not only that: if someone has registered a similar trademark that someone could have tried to ban the CD Projekt create a sequel or DLC for the game, or even something called Cyberpunk. The main goal of our registration is to protect themselves from unlawful acts of dishonest competitors.
CD Projekt is now owned trademark Cyberpunk. What does this mean in practice?
Brand – not copyright or patent. It’s completely different things, and they can not be confused. Registered trademark does not prohibit the use of the word Cyberpunk, if it is not used in a business (advertising, branding, etc.), and if it does not apply to the products listed under the brand registration (more details a little further). Brand also provides no exclusivity in the choice of the universe and game genre (eg, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, cyberpunk, etc.)
I am creating a game cyberpunk setting. How now?
Some of you have probably already started digging on the Internet and found out: CD Projekt began the process of registering Cyberpunk trademark in the United States back in 2011-th year. There is no “evil plan” for this was not an – either then or now. If you are still worried – write to us. We discuss in personal correspondence.
Prohibits whether a registered trademark Cyberpunk Cyberpunk use the word in the names of other games?
Using a protected word in the title it can only be prohibited if it misleads the consumer. Trade mark rights can not prohibit the use of the word as a descriptive term – for example, when talking about the genre of the film, games, etc. The role of the trade mark is only to protect the words, game logos, product names, etc.
If someone would call their game “Dzhon Smit: cyberpunk adventure in the anti-utopian society,” or “20 short video games in cyberpunk worlds”, is in any case will not be considered a violation of our rights. And all because that in this case there is no risk of confusing the consumer and make him think that this game CD Projekt, even in these names is present, and the word “cyberpunk”.
… Well, you have mastered this sheet? Of course, this is not the apogee of chicanery, but legal aspects lit lot. And it is not necessary to be a professional lawyer to realize that even in this superficial explanation Poles left her a lot of loopholes. And in the documents themselves registration trademark Cyberpunk sure there is a whole network of rabbit burrows.
Stories known inflections on this basis. The brightest of them – Coca-Cola. Some time ago, the company had a real mania: to record everything. Given the enormous financial opportunities producer of soft drinks, none by themselves, and did not resist. But it came to the point of absurdity: Coca-Cola doted registered as its trademark … red. US regulators here all are opposed, as a dangerous precedent. And suddenly, Coca-Cola, based on their rights, wants to uproot all the traffic lights, which in the “red” will not cause the white company logo?