CD Projekt Awarded Trademark for “Cyberpunk”

CD Projekt RED have been awarded a trademark for the word “Cyberpunk.”

The new trademark makes sense in that it’s clearly to protect their upcoming RPG, Cyberpunk 2077however some blowback on the various places across the web have made the developer explain (via Eurogamer) the reasoning behind trademarking a pretty widely-used word.

According to CD Projekt, this new trademark is a “self-defense measure only,” meaning they don’t intend on policing literally every game or intellectual property that uses the word “Cyberpunk.”

Here’s a breakdown of what the new trademark is all about, via CD Projekt:


WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT CD PROJEKT OWNS THE TRADEMARK FOR “CYBERPUNK” ?
A trademark is not a copyright or patent — these are totally different rights and should not be confused. A registered trademark does not prohibit from using the word “CYBERPUNK” if it’s not used in the course of business (e.g. branding, advertising etc.), and does not refer to products that are already covered by trademark registration (more on that below). It also does not give any exclusivity to set a game in a certain environment, or in a certain genre (e.g. sci-fi, fantasy, horror, cyberpunk etc.).

I MAKE GAMES IN A CYBERPUNK SETTING, WHAT NOW?
As some of you might have researched, we already have registrations for “CYBERPUNK” trademarks in the U.S. filed in 2011. There wasn’t and there isn’t any evil plan behind that. If you have concerns, drop us a line.

DOES THE REGISTERED “CYBERPUNK” TRADEMARK PROHIBIT ANYONE FROM USING THE WORD “CYBERPUNK” IN THEIR GAME TITLE
Use of a protected word in a title may be prohibited only if it could confuse the customers. The trademark right cannot prohibit using a word as a descriptive term, as speaking about a genre of games, films, etc. The role of the trademark is only to protect words, signs used as titles of games, names of products, etc. If someone names their game: “JOHN SMITH: ADVENTURES IN A CYBERPUNK DYSTOPIAN SOCIETY” or “20 SHORT VIDEO GAMES SET IN CYBERPUNK WORLDS” none of them should be treated as an infringement of our rights. This is because, despite being part of a title, there is no risk that the consumers would associate these games with CD PROJEKT.


The last we heard of Cyberpunk 2077, the game was shaping up to be even bigger than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which sounds kind of ridiculous at this point in terms of scale. CD Projekt said the game will have “complex technology for creating a huge living city,” as well as “seamless multiplayer,” and more.

Brandon Orselli

About

Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • Malascus

    To be honest, CD Projekt Red is the only studio who i genuily believe won’t abuse their trademarks.

  • Shiggy Diggy Doo

    This could only lead to bad shit and people memeing LE BASED CD PROJEKT aren’t fucking helping. The point isn’t that they say they aren’t going sue happy, the point is they CAN.

    And people thinking they eventually wouldn’t are fucking laughable. Every company eventually goes to shit if you start worshipping the ground they walk on. This is nothing and I mean absolutely nothing but bullshit.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    Isn’t this the same shit King tried to pull with the word “Saga?”

  • Carl_Ed

    I’m just going to go trademark the words “comedy” and “drama”. I totally won’t sue anyone, honest!

  • Mr. Greis

    Cyberpunk 2XXX as a franchise should be trademarked.

    Cyberpunk as a word trademarked spanning multiple markets… yeah, fuck that. Sweet Jesus this system is broken… Cyberpunk as a word has existed for longer than CD Projekt Red has, not sure how they get to call dibs.

  • Riosine

    Ho ho lies

    If they really don’t want to confuse people, then don’t use an almost generic word for a game title in first place

  • Arenegeth

    Good thing we never had any examples of something like this ever going very wrong in the past, nope, never.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/411bc0a9da58ad854a1d59c098bb5a3153abcd347bf0adf3fb08183268e6e49e.jpg

  • VLOCKUP

    Edgy bastard XD

  • VLOCKUP

    Really now? Good for you to have such faith. I just hope CD Project won’t betray your baseless faith.

    This action just makes them more suspicious. Trademark a word lol It’s like Cyberpunk was just made-up by them. Totally they are pioneers for such word.

  • OSad

    I don’t know what’s scarier, them coming out in the open with this right now or the idea they’ve had something like this in the US since 2011.

    Reminds me of Trenched in a way.

  • Offendatron_5000

    Really thought this was an April Fools joke given the timing of the news.

    The bigger joke is that this would be granted at all given how common this phrase is. Its already considered a genre for christ sake.

  • Madbrainbox

    Or Bethesda with Scrolls.

  • Travis Touchdown

    CD Projekt Red’s reputation is due to nothing more than people not knowing about why they suck.

  • Travis Touchdown

    I love how people have been hyping up this game since, like, the Witcher 3 came out and we still know nothing about it.

  • Bitterbear

    Just you wait until a company like Zenimax, Ubisoft, or EA absorbs them.

  • A bit late for that, considering they’re making a game based off of a Pen & Paper RPG from the 80s, with the original creator involved……

  • Bashtarle

    How even the fuck does one acquire the trademark for a word that has been around at least as long as I’ve been alive?

  • CommanderZx2

    Cyberpunk is a franchise that started as a pen and paper game in the 80s. They own that franchise and the designer of the game is working with them on Cyberpunk 2077.

  • s_fnx

    Something rotten in the air…

  • Zack

    Someone should make a game called Cyberpunk Scrolls Saga and see what happens xD

  • Riosine

    well indeed, however they didn’t trademark’d it along the 2077. don’t they?

    Nevermind, CD project been behaving too much good to be believed, especially in comparison to other 3A pubs. that it, somehow, manage to triggers people skepticism.

  • Mr0303

    I think the problem is that such general terms shouldn’t be up for a trademark. If somebody names their game “Cyberpunk Evolution” it will case an issue. I wonder if spelling matters – for example “Cyb3rpunk”
    may avoid the trademark. It seems the final decision of what is and isn’t allowed is up to the trademark holder, which gives them quite a lot of power.

    Overall not the nicest move from CDPR, but the main issue is with the system.

  • Their reasoning for not going straight for 2077 is that it’d only apply to one game title, whereas the existing Cyberpunk trademark that they got for licensing the P&P game anyway years ago allows them to make more than one game. A Trademark for 2077 may still allow others to make asset flip trash as long as the number is different (and indeed, there is a sidescrolling shooter thing on Steam that is called Cyberpunk 3something). They’re obviously considering turning it into a franchise for themselves, so it makes sense for them to keep their options open and potential infringements away.

    Cyberpunk as a brand hasn’t been fixed to one particular year or decade anyway. 2020, 2077, there’s even tie-in novels and multiple P&P rules editions. It is an ancient and venerable franchise, and for that the specific trademark case here seems appropriate.
    They kept stressing that this doesn’t mean nobody can use “Cyberpunk” in their game title either, just not in a too similar context (e.g. combined with year numbers). You could still go ahead and make a game called A Cyberpunk Odyssey or the likes.

  • Dewey Defeats Truman

    Maybe throw an “Edge” in there somewhere as well.

  • The basis of that faith, is that I have little to no basis for an argument against CD Project Red. Even if they have done stupid things, they have managed to keep it out of the news, so that’s worth something.

    To also say, they have had this since ’11, and nobody has done anything with it that could be seen as anti-consumer or over-reach.

  • If I may ask, why do they suck?

  • Mr. Greis

    I’m aware.

    It’s the trademarking a single word I don’t like. Didn’t like it when Edge did it. Didn’t like it when King did it. Don’t like it when any company does it. Especially when that company didn’t make up the word.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    And Comic con did with con.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Don’t even need ass licking to go sour anymore.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    My money is on Zenimax though EA is due for a restocking of its blood bank. I can’t see Ubisoft burning anymore money anytime soon after all that spending they did last year.

  • Bitterbear

    Zenimax is definitively a good contender. Absorbing CD Projekt Red could mess up the GOG shop though.

    And Ubisoft is in a war of attrition with Vivendi.

  • bigbear514

    Nothing like getting downvoted for stating the truth. I would’ve hoped people would really slow down hype regardless of company.

  • CommanderZx2

    Literally every game company making a AAA game gets a trademark to prevent unscrupulous companies trying to trick people.

  • Mr. Greis

    A single word is easier to abuse.

    Mass Effect is trademarked in combination. I don’t know any company that trademarked Mass or Effect on their own.

  • CommanderZx2

    Hoisted on your own petard there… You’ve actually just provided me with an example of exactly what CD Project has done.

    Bethesda hasn’t trademarked “Mass effect 1”, “Mass Effect 2”, “Mass Effect Galaxy”, “Mass Effect Infiltrator”, “Mass Effect: Andromeda”, etc. Instead they have a trademark on “Mass Effect”.

    Just as CD Project has a trademark on “Cyberpunk” and not “Cyberpunk 2077”. Or do you wish to change your suggestion to say that Bethesda should have a trademark on “Mass Effect 1” and not “Mass Effect”?

    By the way “Mass effect” is term in medicine that predates the game series by a long way.

  • Mr. Greis

    Mass Effect is a combination of words to represent the franchise. It is much more difficult to abuse than a single word like Cyberpunk. Edge Games trademarked Edge as opposed to trademarking Edge Games. Went after everyone who used the word Edge.

    King trademarked Saga, as a part of Candy Crush Saga and went after Banner Saga, despite Banner Saga having existed before Candy Crush had Saga added to its title.

    I know they didn’t trademark Cyberpunk 2077, it’s what they SHOULD have done. Cyberpunk 2xxx would make it obvious it pertains to the franchise while letting the single word go free without issue. Instead they trademarked a single word, one that actually represents a genre no less and is used elsewhere frequently. Plus one they had no hand in creating.

    I don’t know the limitations of the Patent and Trademark Office when it comes to creating 2xxx and xxx being fill in the blanks, but I do know the very serious abuse it creates by being lazy. Such as the aforementioned incidents involving Edge Games and King. I actually support reforming the system, it’s bloated and creates a mess in the legal system.

    Also, why would Bethesda be trademarking Mass Effect when EA owns the rights?

  • CommanderZx2

    I see discussing this with you is pointless when you will simply ignore any counter argument. You hate on CD Project for trademark Cyberpunk, but will ignore it when it’s another company does the same thing.

  • Mr. Greis

    How could two words being trademarked together be the same thing? They’re two words into one item. As opposed to the single word Cyberpunk which has a prolific use already.

    Mass effect was more of a medical term before the game was made.

    I already cited Edge being trademarked as a single word and its abuse. Along with King. It’s the same shit here, the difference is the character of the companies in question… which really doesn’t matter as once it’s in the system it’s free to fall into anyone’s hands. Which is my biggest problem with this.

    Single words – that aren’t created by the applicant – should not be able to be trademarked.

  • Jonbo298
  • Jonbo298

    Cyberpunk Scrolls Saga: Edge Edition

  • Malcolm_Ecks

    No one else applied for one and trademark law is retarded.

  • panda

    They just trademarked the name of a genre of fiction.

    Fuck.

  • Zero Eternity

    Pretty sure they should not have been awarded the trademark for that. I’m thinking someone back like 20 years ago should have been awarded it, if we’re gonna start legally trademarking words now.

  • Zero Eternity

    Quick someone trademark the words CD and project! We can fuck their names all up.

  • Himegami Aisa

    You know downvoting doesn’t actually do anything on Disqus, right? It just placates retards who want to bury shit they don’t like. Anyway, don’t bring braveposting reddit cancer here.

  • LaserCatsAreAwesome

    Come on be honest about why they trigger you Tdog!

  • LaserCatsAreAwesome

    Look at his posting history it’s obvious why they’re pouring sand into his vagina. Hint: they give no fucks about something that starts with a “N” and Witcher 3 was used by some to criticize elements of a recent launch game that was herald as the second coming of gaming Jesus so CPR and W3 have been put at near the top of every devout N follower’s shitlist.

  • UnpluggedBeta

    This is proof that ip law is garbage and the lawyers who practice it need to be sent to the gulag.

  • GuyGuysonEsquire

    “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain”

  • AnarKreig

    I’m okay with this. Cyber Punk, two words but joined into one Cyberpunk.
    And the term, the descriptor of the setting, originates from the IP.
    If anything, this should’ve been done ages ago.

  • CoarseHock

    Shame on Brandon for seemingly not doing research on this, so we end up with a lot of misinformed comments trying to defend or attack trademarking “Cyberpunk” instead of “Cyberpunk 2077”. When actually they have trademarked both. “Cyberpunk 2077” is a generic trademark for everything and the kitchen sink because it’s a specific product title. “Cyberpunk” is trademarked specifically for role-playing games.

    With all that said, I don’t agree with this trademark being granted. It’s 23 years after the listed commercial usage and has become a widely used term for an entire genre. It’s way past the point where they should be able to restrict usage of it. Owning “Cyberpunk 2077” would’ve been plenty of legal ammunition if they wanted to defend against someone bringing out a competing game with a similar title.

  • CoarseHock

    FYI – “Mass Effect: Andromeda” is trademarked by EA because it’s a specific title. You don’t need to trademark “Mass Effect 2”, “Mass Effect 3”, etc because they’re still using the “Mass Effect” trademark. “Cyberpunk 2077” needs (and has) a specific one because it’s a date and a part of the title. It’s not the 2077th Cyberpunk game.

    For example, the only “The Fast and The Furious” trademarks are for that title and “The Fast and The Furious: Extreme: Close Up” (yeesh). They don’t need to trademark every iteration with a number after it.

  • EinMugenTenshin

    They already have, it’s called Competitive Gwent.

  • Zanard Bell

    Well, the one company I believed to be a genuine good had to turn a bit evil sometime.

  • If I am thinking of the right N, then I now like CDPR even More!

    Am I correct in assuming this N is one of The Big 3?

  • Fenrir007

    Same comment I posted at Techraptor:

    If you wanna name your game “Cyberpunk 20XX”, you can’t. If, however, you wanna name your game “Underage Pantsu Quest – A Cyberpunk Adventure”, you can. You just can’t use the word as the core part of your title, but you can still use it as a descriptor. It’s like ID trademarking “Doom”, for example. Just avoid using the word alone and you are golden. This is literally non-news and people brew up a storm in a teacup.

    Oh, and don’t forget this was not random naming, either, because the game is based on an RPG called “Cyberpunk 2020”.

  • Cats736

    Flamebait

  • Cats736

    Would you trademark FPS or First Person Shooter? Because that’s what this is, Cyberpunk is a type of genre. If they had trademarked Cyperpunk: 2077 instead that would’ve been fine.

  • AnarKreig

    That’s a retarded comparison, and it’s not. Cyberpunk is only a genre because the original Cyberpunk 2020 is a thing. You don’t call FPS’s doom clones anymore.

  • Cats736

    Cyberpunk is a genre, trade marking it is like trade marking FPS. Cyberpunk 2020 being a thing or not is irrelevant. Because they’re not all like Doom, now that is retarded.