According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website, Ubisoft has filed to abandon one of its Watch Dogs trademarks.
Speaking with Polygon, intellectual property litigation specialist at firm Fenwick and West, Jed Wakefield said that the application for abandonment doesn’t necessarily mean that Ubisoft will stop using the name “Watch Dogs“. He said it may be that the way the game will be presented has been changed, which would require Ubisoft to cancel and reapply for the trademark with a modified description. Ubisoft has filed six trademarks for Watch Dogs, which cover video games, online games, clothing, and entertainment services. Wakefield noted that the five remaining trademarks for the title were all recently extended.
“It doesn’t look like an intentional abandonment of the mark altogether,” Wakefield said, in part. “There could be other practical reasons that they are letting that particular application go. They could be coming up with a different description and will reapply using that description.”
“Sometimes people withdraw trademark applications as part of a resolution of a dispute of someone else using a trademark,” he explained. “It could be other people who own trademarks involving the term ‘Watch Dogs’ or other kinds of software might have reached out and expressed concerns. Or it could mean the way they’re actually releasing the game would mean they couldn’t come up with specimens of use that would meet the description in that particular application.”
“I wouldn’t read into it that the company is not planning on using the mark, nor would I read into it that they’re not releasing the game because of it.”
A new filing has since been submitted with the United States Patent and Trademark Office claiming that the original request was fraudulent.
“On February 1, 2014, Ubisoft Entertainment received an email from TEAS@uspto.gov notifying Ubisoft Entertainment that a Request for Express Abandonment had been filed in connection with Application Serial No. 85642398,” according to the filing. “The Request for Express Abandonment purports to be signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft Entertainment, Yves Guillemot.
“Mr. Guillemot, however, did not sign the Request for Express Abandonment, nor did Ubisoft Entertainment file the Request for Express Abandonment. The Request for Express Abandonment is fraudulent and was not filed by Ubisoft Entertainment or its representative.”
Ubisoft has also said in a statement that they are working to reinstate the trademark and expect it to be active again “in the coming days” and the matter “has no impact on the Watch Dogs’ development.”