The developers of the game Cyberpunk 2077 have dismissed criticism of their decision to trademark “Cyberpunk.” CD Projekt Red says it will only ever use the trademark defensively.
The company, best known for developing The Witcher, made the comments after criticism by users on the Reddit games forum, with the original poster saying “I hope they won’t be able to push that trademark, it’s kind of uncool move.”
The trademark approved this week is for use in European Union counties and specifically covers games software and online gaming services. It turned out that CD Prokect Red has already held a US trademark on the term since 2012, something that’s strengthened its argument that it doesn’t plan to use the term aggressively, for example by trying to stop any games with a cyberpunk theme.
The developer says the trademark is necessary only to stop other companies trying to unfairly stop it building on its own work, giving the example “”Should we ever create a sequel, there’s a possibility of someone telling us we can’t name it, say, ‘Cyberpunk 2078’ or ‘Cyberpunk 2.’”
Online reaction to the developer’s argument appears to be split. The more common view seems to be both an acceptance of the principle and a specific trust that the company will act reasonably based on its previous work. However, a minority of commenters counter that trademarks simply shouldn’t be allowed for such a narrow and generic term.