Prankster responsible for Watch Dogs trademark abandonment [UPDATE]

Request for "express abandonment" of trademark filed by a prankster.

[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.

Ubisoft has abandoned one of half-a-dozen trademarks it holds for upcoming open-world game Watch Dogs, but it doesn't mean the much-anticipated open-world game is canceled.

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.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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602 comments
dieyie
dieyie

That low life prankster went way too far.

coolguyhero
coolguyhero

the girl in the trailer looks like a girl in the arrow.thieas boyfrined roy his friend.

LE5LO
LE5LO

Now that we know it isn't Assassins Creed 17 ( or 5...whatever ), I am so much more excited for this game.

surrealme
surrealme

That's a really stupid thing to go to prison over. What a moron.

BladeManEXE
BladeManEXE

I remember the days when pulling a prank meant you tricked your friend into putting on a hat with an egg in it or something equally stupid or ultimately harmless.

These days it seems "pulling a prank" means "wanton destruction of public and/or private property" and "malicious trademark fraud."

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

Clever little trucker. Or is it actually just that easy to commit corporate espionage?

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

When was forgery reduced from a felony to being a prank?

deathstream
deathstream

Prankster?  That is a hefty list of felonies for a "prank".

einsp
einsp

Welp, there goes his freedom for a while. Wonder if he started to wave bye bye yet?

Mercaptan
Mercaptan

Haha you gotta see the irony this game being about hacking and stuff :)))

natt39
natt39

I can think of at least 4 state and federal laws and at least one Canadian law that the prick just broke... If they can find him I say go after him.

axl159
axl159

I'm not sure that that he could be considered a prankster, more like corporate espionage or at least fraud.

quaker04
quaker04

I... think this guy is pretty fucked.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Ha, even forged the CEO's signature.

Shelledfade1
Shelledfade1

This is glorious, I absolutely hate ubisoft, especially ubisoft montreal (ghost recon future soldier, anyone remember that epic fail?) don't forget uplay either, which they shove up everybody's ass, even if you buy the game off steam.


Either way whoever messes with blizzard, ea, or ubisoft gets a +1 from me. (blizzard for hiring jay wilson who had no RPG past history and for ruining D3). 

VargasUniverse
VargasUniverse

There are very twisted people in the world. This guy is one of them.

Boogy32
Boogy32

Who the hell spends his time doing stuff like this? I'm assuming it's someone who sat down, and thought to himself 

"What shall I do today? Aha! I will learn how to forge Yves Guillemot's signature, so that I can file an 'express abandonment' trademark order for Watch Dogs, and see how long it takes them to notice!"

Who makes such a plan? And what kind of person goes through with it?! As if they didn't have anything better to do. :D

zzz802
zzz802

That prankster must be Aiden Pearce himself.

ecurl143
ecurl143

All we need now is the Ubisoft internal servers to get hacked and complete this funny tale.

Ironic, considering the nature of the game material.

Talavaj
Talavaj

"No we haven't seen or heard about it, we are reporting it"

Raul McLoon
Raul McLoon

Well The Witcher 3 isn't being developed for the old consoles they can't handle it, But you make a good point Carl. Last gen will heavily restrict what ubisoft can really do with watch dogs. But ubisoft have said it themselves they are only interested in game series. And The Last Guardian? Hahahahaha awwwwh.....I think we'll be on PS5's by the time that thing ever comes out

Halloll
Halloll

seems like bureaucracy only work when it shouldn't.

Ahiru-San
Ahiru-San

that's a troll right there...

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Bored no-life people + attention from the media that does not double-check official sources = things like this happen.

rad8045
rad8045

I love how todays media reports on anything they see or hear, even if its the ramblings of a mad man.

Max Huijsen
Max Huijsen

Phew... Nearly got an heart attaca when i saw the headline. It was all a sick prank.

mrbojangles25
mrbojangles25

jesus christ what crappy journalism.


Journalists do not get an edit button.  Two updates?  Then again, one can hardly call Gamespot writers "journalists".


Save this crap for the rumor and gossip sections.  Or, better yet, us plebs on the forums to discuss so we look like asses; at least there it is expected and even accepted.


Where is the professionalism, the integrity, in the Gamespot staff?

Faye_Tallity
Faye_Tallity

@coolguyhero  Why would it be a publicity stunt?! They won't make money, over messing with their own logo, for a product that they were supposed to make money on O.o  

LE5LO
LE5LO

@BladeManEXE  Oh come on! It would've wasted a little of someones time at Ubisoft to get the TM reinstated. You've got to admit that without seriously damaging the company, this was genius! It's about as relevant as it gets to the theme of this game.


I hope the Watch_Dog writers will be inspired to put a new mission in the game where you either forge something or catch someone doing it, in honour of what happened here. I bet almost everyone at Ubisoft is having a laugh at their own expense right over this, and they are just thankful they weren't compromised in a truly harmful way, just a playful one. xD



masa2009
masa2009

@Shelledfade1 Future Soldier was not even developed by Ubi Montréal. It was done by Red Storm in North Carolina and Ubi Paris in France.

yoda101280
yoda101280

@rad8045 I love Gamestop for certain game related info but I would hardly call them media.  I mean if I was looking for factual evidence on anything this site would not even be on my list.  If I was looking for game reviews that usually are pretty accurate or at least within the margin of error then I come here.

benelori
benelori

@mrbojangles25  

I don't disagree with the level of journalism, but updates for a story are not equivalent with having an edit button... 

rad8045
rad8045

@mrbojangles25

Where is the professionalism, the integrity, in the Gamespot staff? Bwahahah !!! sad isn't it when a fair question like that comes across as a joke to others lol.

PS  Not having a shot at you mate ;)

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@yoda101280 @rad8045  Much like any rolling news outlet, GS tend to post first and ask questions later. The worst part about it is, and it happens with TV news too, is that many people see the initial articles and take them as fact and never hear the updates / retractions later on.

mrbojangles25
mrbojangles25

@benelori @mrbojangles25  true, my bad,  But in this case, it seems like "update" was used more as "woops I didnt really do my fact-checking".


I mean, this was their source in the original article:


"As spotted by a NeoGAF forum member..."


...Seriously?  Wonder if he even contacted Ubisoft or not, or waited for an official response, before doing a knee-jerk news article.  Sad situation.  Not just here, either.

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@benelori @mrbojangles25  True, but the rush to post 'news' first without waiting for any kind of fact checking or clarification is becoming the bane of any kind of rolling news...and people who only hear the first report go away thinking baloney is fact.

GamerGeek87
GamerGeek87

@Carpetfluff @benelori @mrbojangles25  The funny thing is, when Gamespot first posted the article they linked to the full request. If they had actually read it they would have seen it was fake as it at that time already contained the quote from their second update.