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This trademark dispute between Remedy and Take-Two is brought to you by the letter R

 Remedy Entertainment logo - a stylized R.
Remedy Entertainment logo - a stylized R.

This is a weird one: Back in April 2023, Remedy Entertainment unveiled a new logo, a stylized "R" it said represented "a fresh and refined look" for the studio. But, as discovered by Respawn First, Take-Two Interactive has filed oppositions to Remedy's trademark application in the UK and EU, claiming a "likelihood of confusion" with its Rockstar Games logo.

(Rockstar, for those not aware, is owned by Take-Two.)

Remedy filed for the new trademark with the EU's Intellectual Property Office on April 13, 2023, one day ahead of its public announcement. It then filed with the UK's IPO a month later, on May 11, and with the US Patent and Trademark Office on May 24.

Take-Two registered its opposition with the EU IPO on July 26, 2023, and then with the UK on September 12. The US PTO doesn't currently indicate whether any opposition has been filed: That trademark application is currently "awaiting assignment to an examining attorney."

The text of Take-Two's opposition filing on the EU's Intellectual Property Office website claims a "likelihood of confusion [or] unfair advantage/detriment to distinctiveness or repute." It doesn't reference Rockstar specifically, but an image of the logo is included with a separate filing in support of the claim.

I am not a trademark lawyer, but honestly, I don't see it:

Remedy Entertainment and Rockstar logos side by side
Remedy Entertainment and Rockstar logos side by side

What makes the situation strange, at least from the standpoint of a casual observer, is that Remedy and Take-Two have a long-standing and presumably amicable relationship. Take-Two acquired the rights to Max Payne in 2002, after which Rockstar published the Remedy-developed Max Payne 2 in 2003 before developing and releasing Max Payne 3 itself—with Remedy's endorsement—in 2012. In 2022, Remedy and Rockstar announced plans to remake the first two Max Payne games, a project that's still in development. Given that well-established working relationship, it seems a little weird to me that they'd butt heads over whether or not this R looks too much like that R.

There's a reasonable likelihood that all of this will be sorted out before it gets to "the adversarial part of the opposition proceeds," as the EU's IPO puts it. An October 2023 filing says both Remedy and Take-Two have requested an extension to the "cooling off period," which has now been pushed out until September 6, 2025.

That gives them well over a year to hash things out, and they may need the time: As we saw in 2021 when it opposed Hazelight Studios' trademark filing for It Takes Two, Take-Two can be very aggressive about protecting its properties. In fact, attorney Richard Hoeg of Hoeg Law predicted just this sort of thing at the time.

"Take-Two is delivering a message with this kind of action to other lawyers, to other folks that could potentially use the word Rockstar, or the letter R, or the name Dot or Dots or Two Dots, or, as it turns out, Take-Two itself, and saying, 'Go away. You don't even want to get into this because we will just make your lives miserable'," Hoeg said in a 2021 podcast. "They aren't the first and they certainly won't be the last to do this kind of thing. It's not necessarily illegal, but it is certainly aggressive."

I've reached out to Remedy and Take-Two for comment, and will update if I receive a reply.