Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar Games, has filed a trademark dispute against Remedy Entertainment over the Finnish studio’s new stylized “R” logo. The dispute centers around allegations that Remedy’s logo bears too close a resemblance to Rockstar’s own well-known “R” brand icon.
Background of the Dispute
Remedy Entertainment unveiled a new round stylized “R” logo in late 2022 to coincide with the announcement of their upcoming game Alan Wake 2.
The logo forms part of Remedy’s overall brand refresh, bringing their corporate identity in line with the stylish minimalism of their games like Control and the upcoming sequel to their cult classic Alan Wake.
Take-Two and its subsidiary Rockstar Games claim this new Remedy “R” logo bears an uncomfortably close resemblance to Rockstar’s own long-running stylized “R” brand icon:
The dispute centers solely around Remedy’s logo – there are no allegations about intellectual property theft relating to Alan Wake 2 or any other Remedy games.
Take-Two’s Infringement Allegations
In their filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, Take-Two allege Remedy’s “R” logo constitutes an infringement on their brand identity, creating market confusion and “devaluing” Rockstar’s brand iconography.
They claim the stylized single-letter logos are “confusingly similar”, alleging Remedy has created brand confusion by adopting such an overtly similar mark.
The move has been criticized across the gaming industry, especially by independent developers.
Mitch Gitelman, head of Harebrained Schemes, tweeted:
Can’t imagine having lawyers with so little to do that you have them file frivolous suits against other developers over incredibly weak “similarities” in logos. What a waste of money and energy. Focus on your own games, not this silliness.
Many argue Take-Two’s legal challenge is an act of trademark bullying – leveraging their financial muscle against a smaller developer to maintain complete control over any use of a stylized letter “R” in the games industry.
What Happens Next
Remedy Entertainment now has 40 days to respond to Take-Two’s challenge.
They must either defend their new logo or propose an amended design to resolve the dispute.
If Remedy fights the challenge, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will make a ruling on whether confusion between the logos is likely.
Consequences for Remedy
If Remedy lose the challenge, the financial fallout could be significant. They face:
- Costs of redesigning their brand identity and assets across their business
- Lost marketing from rebranding just months after announcing Alan Wake 2
- Legal fees fighting a well-resourced opponent like Take-Two
This is an unwelcome distraction for Remedy as they gear up for the release of Alan Wake 2 – their most high profile game in over a decade.
What This Means for the Industry
The dispute has refocused attention on trademark hoarding and bullying in the gaming industry.
Many developers legally “squat” on trademarks – like single letters or common words – purely to extort money through licensing or disputes.
Blockbuster franchises like Grand Theft Auto provide huge financial incentives for this sort of anti-competitive behavior.
But there are calls for better legal protections for small developers and more balanced arbitration in disputes like Remedy vs Take-Two.
Without intervention, trademark hoarding stands to stifle creativity and diversity among gaming’s independent developers.
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