Trademark Dispute Over the Letter "R": Take-Two Interactive vs. Remedy Entertainment

Trademark disputes have become an integral part of the gaming industry, with companies fiercely protecting their intellectual property rights. The latest disoute involves gaming giants Take-Two Interactive, the owner of Rockstar Games, and Remedy Entertainment, creators of the renowned Max Payne series. This case revolves around Remedy Entertainment's new logo, particularly the right to exclusive use of the letter "R."

By

Igor Demcak

Details of the case

Remedy Entertainment unveiled its new logo in April, signaling a departure from its previous design featuring an "R" with a bullet-shaped counter in an oval. The revamped logo presents a simpler "R," constructed from multiple pieces of the letter. According to Thomas Puha, Remedy Entertainment's communications director, the change was driven by the company's evolution beyond the era of Max Payne. The bullet in the old logo symbolized the Max Payne era, but Remedy now boasts a diverse portfolio of games, both new and old.

Take-Two Interactive, known for its aggressive stance in protecting trademarks, promptly opposed Remedy Entertainment's new logo. The opposition filing with the Intellectual Property Office of the U.K. and European Union asserts a "likelihood of confusion [or] unfair advantage/detriment to distinctiveness or repute." The grounds for opposition imply that Take-Two believes the new logo could cause confusion among consumers or potentially harm the distinctiveness or reputation of their existing trademarks. This legal maneuver suggests that Take-Two is not merely seeking a logo change but is also aiming to prevent Remedy Entertainment from obtaining trademark protection for its new design.

rockstar trademark dispute

(Remedy Entertainment/Take-Two Interactive)

Take-Two's Trademark Strategy

Take-Two Interactive's assertive involvement in trademark disputes is not new. In 2014, Take-Two Interactive was involved in a trademark dispute with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) over the title "Game Changer," a docudrama about the creation of the Grand Theft Auto series. In 2021, the company opposed the trademark application for "It Takes Two" by Hazelight Studios and Electronic Arts, resulting in the abandonment of the trademark by the latter parties. Similarly, in the current dispute with Remedy Entertainment, Take-Two seems more interested in preventing the protection of the logo than forcing a design change.

As practice shows, the company is not hesitant to file oppositions and engage in legal proceedings to prevent the registration of trademarks that it believes could lead to confusion with its own or dilution of its brand's distinctiveness. Two's focus extends beyond the immediate objective of altering others' trademarks; it seeks to limit the legal protection afforded to those trademarks, reducing the potential for future conflicts and establishing a robust defense of its own brand assets.

The Verge reports that the EU proceedings for this case are not scheduled until at least September 2025. Despite the extended timeline, there is speculation that the companies may seek a resolution before the formal proceedings, considering their ongoing collaboration on Max Payne remakes. The juxtaposition of releasing remakes while embroiled in a trademark dispute adds an awkward layer to their professional relationship.

Igor Demcak
Igor Demcak

Trademark Attorney

Founder & CEO of Trama

7 year experience in IP protection

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