Sponsored By

Here's what devs can learn from CD Projekt Red's 'cyberpunk' trademark

A brief breakdown offered by CD Projekt Red serves both as an explanation of the developer's reasoning and an example of how devs can use trademarks to protect their intellectual property.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

April 6, 2017

2 Min Read

Last week it came to light that The Witcher creator CD Projekt Red had filed a trademark on the word “cyberpunk” ahead of the release of its game Cyberpunk 2077 and it seems that action was met with some confusion from the general public.

Due to that, CD Projekt Red has opted to release an explanation of exactly what its trademark on the word cyberpunk means and how that affects other developers or companies that might want to use that word in their own projects in the future. 

The statement, originally shared via Twitter, also acts as an example of how other devs can protect their own intellectual property through trademark, and why doing so could be in their best interests.

Put simply, CD Projekt Red says that trademarking the word cyberpunk is a self-defense measure and doesn’t outright prevent other games from using the word or genre cyberpunk.

Instead, the trademark prohibits game titles from using the exact naming scheme or the word cyberpunk in a way that could confuse customers.

On the other side of things, CD Projekt Red says that a trademark like this can prevent developers from having to fight against malicious trademarks that could be filed down the line. 

”Life knows quite a few examples of companies registering marks similar to well-known marks, and then trying to sell them for big money. Should we ever decide to create a sequel, there’s a possibility of someone telling us we can’t name it, say ‘Cyberpunk 2078’ or ‘Cyberpunk 2’,” explained CD Projekt Red. 

“Moreover if someone else registered this trademark in the future, they could prohibit CD Projekt from making any expansions to the game, any additional titles under the name 'cyberpunk'. The reason for our registration is to protect us from unlawful actions of unfair competitors.

CD Projekt Red's full explanation can be found below. 

About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like