It Takes Two Hit By Copyright Claim from Take-Two

Is a title being too similar to another worth pursuing legal action?

by Michael Sagoe

It Takes Two, the popular story-driven co-op adventure game by Hazelight and EA Originals, has recently been under fire by gaming publisher Take-Two Interactive. The reason for this is due to a copyright claim filed by Take-Two Interactive, claiming that the title of It Takes Two, is too similar to the name of their publishing company, and thus has been looking to have the name removed from the game completely. Hazelight quickly decided not to file a counter dispute on the matter, and instead has decided to abandon the trademark altogether, as a notice of abandonment was sent to the US Patent Office shortly after Take-Two’s infringement claim was filed.

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While there is no public announcement regarding this news, Twitter user Mike Futter, founder & business analyst for F-Squared consultancy, had a very informative comment on this issue: The trademark conflict means that Hazelight can’t protect the name, not that they will be forced to change it. They could change it if they want to protect the name, but honestly, it’s probably not worth it to them to do that.

Even more so: this notice of abandonment of the trademark by Hazelight was made even before news of the copyright claim was even known to the public. At the time of this article, Hazelight has yet to release any comment on the trademark issue, along with no words on how this issue will affect any future distribution of the game, such as plans to rename the title or for any potential ideas regarding a sequel. Likewise, Take-Two has not released any comment on the trademark issue regarding their primary reason for filing the infringement claim.

As it stands, this seems like another case of Take-Two Interactive flexing their corporate muscle in order to try and control or manipulate not only the gaming industry but various other industries as well. This has not been the first time that Take-Two Interactive has encroached on other companies for copyright infringement, as the company has filed to contest numerous names with connections to the words such as “rockstar”, “social club”, and “mafia” just to name a few. The absurdity to try and lay claim to words that are used so commonly has only soled their reputation as a publisher, as their recent releases for GTA Trilogy: Definitive Edition has been seen with “less than favorable” approval.

If Take-Two hopes to repair their broken reputation with players, perhaps they should reconsider their corporate meddling in the near future.

It Takes Two is currently available for Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and PC via Steam and EA Origin.