Rockstar and Remedy: The Battle Over a Letter
Remedy Entertainment, known for "Alan Wake", has found itself in a legal skirmish with Take-Two Interactive. This news, initially reported by RespawnFirst.com, revolves around something as seemingly innocuous as the letter 'R'.
Remedy Entertainment introduced a new logo, a stylized version of the letter 'R', which has unexpectedly stirred up controversy. Take Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, is challenging this move, claiming that Remedy’s logo is a little too close for comfort to the iconic 'R' used by Rockstar.
This isn't the first time Take Two has flexed its legal muscles over trademarks. Just last year, they were embroiled in a dispute with Hazelight Studios over the title of their game, “It Takes Two”, showcasing their insanely over-aggressive approach to protecting their intellectual property. To be fair, in that case:
"Take-Two isn't saying that Hazelight is infringing, but it doesn't want them to be able to protect the name (and put it out of TT's reach since it is so close to their company name)," he says. "Imagine if they wanted to make their company motto 'It's Take-Two.' That slogan might be too close to the game name, which would be protected. Take-Two isn't suing anyone, but it is objecting to trademarks that include or are close to its company and division names."
- F-Squared Business Analyst Mike Futter
Remedy revealed their new logo in April 2023, coinciding with the time the dispute was filed. In their unveiling, Remedy mentioned that the new logo signified a departure from their “Max Payne” days, representing a diverse portfolio and a new chapter in their development journey.
The ongoing trademark dispute between Take-Two and Remedy Entertainment adds a layer of complexity to their current collaboration. Ironically, Remedy is working alongside Rockstar, a subsidiary of Take-Two, on the remastered versions of the classic games "Max Payne" and "Max Payne 2".
These titles were announced in April 2022 for a revival. They are set to be packaged together and released on contemporary platforms like the Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC. To bring these classics into the modern era, where, according to VGC, Remedy is utilizing their Northlight game engine, famed for its use in their recent hits "Control" and "Alan Wake 2".
The history between Remedy and Take-Two dates back to 2002 when Remedy sold the Max Payne brand rights to Take-Two for a substantial $34 million. Fast forward to the present, and it's this historical transaction that has paved the way for the remakes. The project is a product of a collaborative agreement between Remedy and Rockstar, making the current legal tussle over the logo all the more interesting. Makes you wonder if there's more going on in the background that we don't know about. As these two entities work together to breathe new life into the Max Payne series, the backdrop of their trademark dispute adds an interesting twist to their partnership.
The Bullet in the letter R in the old logo represented the era of Max Payne, but the Remedy of now is much bigger than a single game; we have a whole portfolio of games, new and old.
It was time to update and redefine our visual identity to bring more consistency, showcase our evolution over the years, and better express our vision of today’s Remedy.
Despite this rebranding effort, the trademark for the new logo remains under dispute in the UK as of September 2023. The core of the opposition hinges on “Article 8(1)(b) EUTMR”, which deals with the likelihood of public confusion due to similar trademarks.
Interestingly, according to RespawnFirst.com, Remedy revealed their logo in April... But filed for the trademark in May, a full month later. This timing might be a key factor in these legal proceedings. As this story develops, it highlights the delicate balance companies must maintain in protecting their brand identity while navigating the complex world of trademark laws. Good times in modern society!