[UPDATE 2] It appears the request for "express abandonment" of the Watch Dogs trademark came from a prankster and not Ubisoft, according to a new document filed today with the USPTO. This person even forged Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot's signature, according to the document.
"On February 1, 2014, Ubisoft Entertainment received an email from TEAS@uspto.gov notifying Ubisoft Entertainment that a Request for Express Abandonment had been filed in connection with Application Serial No. 85642398. The Request for Express Abandonment purports to be signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft Entertainment, Yves Guillemot. Mr. Guillemot, however, did not sign the Request for Express Abandonment, nor did Ubisoft Entertainment file the Request for Express Abandonment," Ubisoft said. "The Request for Express Abandonment is fraudulent and was not filed by Ubisoft Entertainment or its representative."
The title of this story has been updated to reflect the new information.
[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Ubisoft issued a statement on the matter to GameSpot.
“We are working directly with the USPTO on reinstating the trademark for Watch Dogs and it will be active again in the coming days," Ubisoft said. "The matter has no impact on the Watch Dogs' development."
The original story is below.
As spotted by a NeoGAF forum member, Ubisoft on February 1 abandoned its main Watch Dogs trademark after the publisher filed an "express abandonment" request. This request was filed by none other than Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. You can see the full request here.
The trademark, U.S. Serial No. 85642398, is the principal Watch Dogs trademark and covers "game software and electronic game programs." Interestingly, the abandonment came just three days after Ubisoft was granted an extension on the trademark.
Ubisoft continues to hold five trademarks for Watch Dogs. These include trademarks covering "online computer games," game instruction manuals, toys, TV shows and theatrical performances, and clothing like pajamas and "infants' one-piece garments."
It's possible that Ubisoft's abandonment of this Watch Dogs trademark means the game's title has been changed or that administrative issues mandated such an action. We don't know and a Ubisoft representative was not immediately available to comment.
Watch Dogs has not only drawn praise from critics, but is expected to be a major revenue driver from Ubisoft upon release later this year, making any thoughts of its cancellation very unlikely. The game was originally expected to launch in November 2013, but was later delayed to spring 2014.