Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive has filed a new trademark application for Bully covering, among other things, "computer and video game programs and software."
The trademark application was filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office on July 25. A company representative was not immediately available to comment.
The new trademark is the fourth that Take-Two holds related to Bully. The first, originally filed two years ahead of Bully's release in 2006, covers "computer game programs and software." A second covers clothing, while the third covers printed material like books and magazines.
In November 2011, Rockstar Games cofounder Dan Houser explained that after the original Bully shipped, it was decided that Rockstar Vancouver--the lead developer behind Bully--would work on Max Payne 3 instead of a sequel to the open-world game.
"So we knew that we didn't want to start doing the Bully sequel instantly at that second with those guys--even though it is a property that, like [Max Payne], we adore and might come back to in the future," Houser said at the time. "There was just no impetus to do that then. So we said, 'You can do Max, and then we will see what we can do with Bully.'"
If the Bully franchise is to return, it could be one of the multiple next-generation games Take-Two currently has in development. In May, CEO Strauss Zelnick said, "We also have a extraordinary pipeline of titles in development for next-generation platforms, including groundbreaking new intellectual property and releases from our proven franchises."
Take-Two will report earnings and hold a question-and-answer session for its latest financial period today beginning at 1:30 p.m. PDT. Check back later for more.