Take-Two Interactive hits indie game It Takes Two with trademark claim

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Josef Fares' co-op indie title It Takes Two was forced to abandon its trademark after a claim by Take-Two Interactive, according to documents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Take-Two filed the claim on October 26, 2020, and developer Hazelight Studios abandoned its trademark on March 30, 2021, four days after the game's launch. In a statement to Eurogamer, Hazelight acknowledged it had to abandon the trademark due to Take-Two's claim, said it remained hopeful the "ongoing disputes" could be resolved, but did not comment on how it affected the game's performance, or any plans to change the name for a sequel or future release.

Other documents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office show Take-Two has an extensive history of filing claims like this, not just for the name Take-Two, but for anything even close to their subsidiaries or brands, including trademarks containing the words rockstar, social club, or bully. Examples include clothing brand Max Fayne, retailer Project 1920 for its slogan "Don't Be a Rockstar, Be a Legend" (which appears to be based on a quote attributed to Freddie Mercury), artist and holistic healer Jennifer Charton for her company Goddess Rockstar Arts, and business consultation firm Restaurant Rockstars LLC. There's even a claim against Obschestvo s ogranichennoy otvetstvennostyu "AytiReks Grupp Bel" for its logo, which is infringing on the Rockstar logo of a simple R. The offending logo can be seen below on the left, next to Rockstar's logo for comparison on the right.

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Earlier this year, Take-Two also took legal action against the GTA fan community for several mods, including the popular reverse-engineering projects.

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seseiSeki

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Fun fact: There's a German candy called "Nimm 2" literally translating to "Take 2." Never heard of them getting attacked by Take-Two :D
 

Foxi4

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“It Takes Two” is literally a part of an idiom - “it takes two to tango”. Take Two Interactive has no legal standing here - the name of their company is derrived from a “second attempt”, aka “take two”, as used in the recording and movie industry. These phrases aren’t even related, not to mention that both are exceedingly common.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/it-takes-two-to-tango

This is legal trolling - Take Two would’ve taken a giant L in litigation, but Hazelight likely doesn’t have the funds to defend their trademark, and I doubt that EA would open their coffers and fund a legal battle that doesn’t make them money. How silly.
 
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This is legal trolling - Take Two would’ve taken a giant L in litigation, but Hazelight likely doesn’t have the funds to defend their trademark, and I doubt that EA would open their coffers and fund a legal battle that doesn’t make them money. How silly.
It seems to me that the whole system needs massive reform so big corps can't keep taking advantage of everyone.
 

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It's not that I don't hate Take-Two Interactive, but in this scenario, it's not really their fault. The US legal system requires Trademarks to be actively and litigiously defended from anything that could possibly be construed as similar.

I hate Take-Two as much as everyone else, but they're not the problem this time, the US is.
I disagree. Yes, they likely need to protect trademarks. But "It Takes Two" isn't infringing or being close to infringing on anything. We're not talking about people using the "Grand Theft Auto" or "Red Dead" trademarks without permission (or slightly modified titles). "It takes two to [action]" is a common saying. This is like them suing somebody over having the word "redemption" in a title. Imagine the Shawshank Redemption gets a remake and Take Two sues the production company. That's how stupid this is.
 
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Foxi4

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It seems to me that the whole system needs massive reform so big corps can't keep taking advantage of everyone.
For starters, they shouldn’t be able to trademark fixed phrases. It used to be that an infringement of a trademark required the infringing content to also closely match the original font and spacing - nowadays even vague resemblance passes. Reminds me of Apple versus Apple, another hilarious example of multimillion dollar corporations fighting over an shape everyone is familiar with - a fucking apple.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v_Apple_Computer

Yeah, if you don’t want your trademark “infringed upon”, maybe your logo shouldn’t be a damned fruit in the first place, guys.
 
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FAST6191

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The Olson twins have entered the chat
To be fair I would have put that as more plausible than this had you asked me a few days ago.

For the sake of those playing along at home.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113442/
Kids film from a while back starring the aforementioned twins... semi remembered today (enough that I would not be surprised to see a remake in a few years) but most things back then might have been expected to have a tie in game (while today the scourge of tie in games is now a possibly not even remembered phase then pick any list of 8,16,PS1,PS2 and handhelds, especially handhelds as they are so cheap to make things for, and search for films and kids TV shows from the same timeframes), so the production company/distributor/rights owner to that would probably have taken out whatever other aspects of trademark deals with computer games (trademarks have various classes of item they cover, https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/trademark-classes-the-complete-list is the US one but it is fairly similar most places), could have possibly expired at this point (trademark lengths are surprisingly short before they have to be renewed, but as long as you pays your reup money that is a pittance to the average company you can keep it) but different discussion there.

See also why Resident Evil is called that outside Japan and not Biohazard, that being a now not so remembered metal band had a trademark that would have covered things Capcom cared about so they had to change.
 

CTR640

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The US is the most terrible shithole to live in terms of copyright claims, patents and laws. You can literally sue anyone who farts in the bus and you almost choked in it so you gonna sue that farter because he/she put your health at risk. And TakeTwo hitting anyone with same words is one of the examples. Strauss Zeldick: "Oh, I see you're using the same words as my company? Lemme sue your ass!"

I really wonder why and how the big companies has gone from bad to worst. Subscriptions everywhere, microtransactions everywhere, sexual abuse everywhere, bugs everywhere, glitches everywhere, sueing passionated modders who made their games very popular, legit buyers being betatesters (see GTA Trilogy Defective Edition and BF2042 fiasco).
 
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