Hazelight Abandons It Takes Two Name After Take-Two Trademark Claim
Hazelight Studios, the team behind A Way Out and this year’s It Takes Two, has abandoned the trademark behind It Takes Two after Take-Two Interactive filed a trademark claim against it, it’s been revealed.
This news comes by way of Eurogamer, which reports that Hazelight has indeed abandoned its trademark for “It Takes Two,” but remains hopeful as a studio that a resolution will be reached. The publication’s report indicates that Take-Two filed a trademark claim against Hazelight shortly after It Takes Two was released. Records show that Hazelight then abandoned ownership of the name.
Eurogamer reached out to Hazelight for comment, but it was told that the studio “cannot comment on ongoing disputes,” but that the team is “hopeful it will be resolved.” As noted in the report, Hazelight did not dispute that it was forced to abandon its trademark of the name “It Takes Two” due to Take-Two’s claim, which can be viewed via this notice of abandonment from the U.S. Patent Office.
Despite speculation that this trademark claim might result in Hazelight having to change the name of its latest game, industry analysts believe that not to be the case.
“The trademark conflict means that Hazelight can’t protect the name, not that they will be forced to change it,” F-Squared consultancy founder and industry analyst Mike Futter wrote on Twitter. “They could change it if they want to protect the name, but honestly, it’s probably not worth it to them to do that.”
The trademark conflict means that Hazelight can’t protect the name, not that they will be forced to change it. They could change it if they want to protect the name, but honestly, it’s probably not worth it to them to do that.— Mike Futter (@Futterish) December 3, 2021
Futter continued, citing that Take-Two isn’t saying Hazelight is infringing, but rather that Take-Two doesn’t want Hazelight to be able to protect “It Takes Two.” He said this could come into play in a theoretical situation where Take-Two might want to create a company motto that’s “It’s Take-Two,” which Hazelight might have been able to stop as a result of its attempted trademark of “It Takes Two.”
Lawyer Richard Hoeg, who often analyzes industry news through a professional lawyer lens on Virtual Legality, said on Twitter that “The ‘It Takes Two Question’ isn’t nearly as bad as the sheer volume of extensions and challenges that Take Two uses to extract concessions from applicants.”
He added that if you look at the Trial and Appeals Board, you can see that Take-Two has filed extension requests for at least 25 challenges in the last three months – he said other game companies take six to seven years to reach that many challenges.
I talked extensively about this issue in #VirtualLegality a few days ago. The "It Takes Two Question" isn't nearly as bad as the sheer volume of extensions and challenges that Take Two uses to extract concessions from applicants.https://t.co/sL8C2dJhPx— Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw) December 3, 2021
“Take Two is being very, very aggressive,” Hoeg said. “It Takes Two by comparison, isn’t a company name, and it’s of limited use in any event due to the sheer number of goods and services that already use the phrase. I would suspect they simply wind up going untrademarked and relying on copyright.”
Hoeg’s Twitter thread ended with him saying that his read on Take-Two is that it challenges almost anything it can find using one of its words a la “Two.”
For more, read about how Take-Two went after a massively-beloved GTA mod back in September, and then check out Game Informer’s It Takes Two review. Find out where It Takes Two lands on Game Informer’s top 10 platformers to play right now list after that.
Did you play It Takes Two this year? Let us know in the comments below!