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Ubisoft Struggles Against Fraudulent Watch Dogs Trademark Removal Request

Brace yourselves; the Watch Dogs conspiracy theories are coming.

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs is still under development, but scammers are apparently targeting both the company and the game itself. According to various online outlets, the US Patent & Trademark Office received a request to scrub the game's trademark. The USPTO then forwarded the request to Ubisoft. At first glance, the request appears to be legitimate and is even signed by Chief Executive Officer of Ubisoft Entertainment, Yves Guillemot.

The specific request filed was as follows:

Ubisoft Entertainment submits this Petition to the Director under Trademark Rule 2.146 to prevent the abandonment of Application Serial No. 85642398. A fraudulent Request for Express Abandonment was recently filed in connection with Application Serial No. 85642398.

Facts

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. The Request for Express Abandonment is fraudulent and was not filed by Ubisoft Entertainment or its representative.

According to a tweet by Ubisoft's Twitter account, the game hasn't been abandoned and is still in production. 

The question then remains--who tried to have the trademark scrubbed? Is this the work of an errant, disgruntled ex-employee, or is the competition trying to step up their efforts against Ubisoft as a company? Random connections have been made in comment threads around the internet, suggesting that King.com, Activision, and even the reviled-by-many company Electronic Arts may be to blame. Others have suggested that the company has failed to develop the game, and that the delay that was announced in October of 2013 was simply a sign of things to come.

Here's what Ubisoft had to say:

“We are working directly with the USPTO on reinstating the trademark for Watch Dogs and it will be active again in the coming days,” a representative told Game Informer. "The matter has no impact on Watch Dogs' development."

 

What's your take on this oddly-timed request to scrub the trademark? Leave your comments below.

Published Feb. 3rd 2014

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