A hot potato: Take-Two Interactive, a company that has done little to endear itself to gamers with its dogged pursuit of GTA modders, will likely attract even more anger following news of its almost patent troll-like behavior. It seems the organization has filed hundreds of trademark disputes for terms that include ‘Rockstar,’ ‘2K,’ and ‘Bully.’ It also went after the developer of co-op title It Takes Two.
Twitter user Ash R. discovered the list of trademark disputes Take-Two Interactive filed to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It mostly targets entities using the term Rockstar, the same name as the Take-Two subsidiary behind the GTA games.
Some of the disputed names include ‘Don’t be a Rockstar Legend,’ ‘Rockstars authors and tattoo parlors,’ and ‘Rockstar axe throwing.’
Take-Two has also filed against anyone using the term ‘2K,’ another one of its subsidiaries, with ‘Prey2K’ on the list. Even ‘Max Fayne’ and ‘Max Pain’ can’t escape for sounding too much like Rockstar Games’ Max Payne. There's also one for 'Bully free world.' It even filed disputes against a company that uses the letter ‘R’ as its logo, despite having a completely different design to Rockstar’s.
One of the very familiar names on the list is ‘It Takes Two.’ Hazelight Studio's excellent co-op platformer is one of our Best PC Games (You Should Be Playing), but it seems Take-Two felt the name was too similar to its own—by that logic, perhaps Kim Weston and the estate of Marvin Gaye could sue Take-Two Interactive.
Some of the trademarks have been abandoned, including the one against It Takes Two, but plenty are still classed as ongoing.
Earlier this year, Take-Two Interactive launched a lawsuit against four modders over their enhanced versions of Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The group recently fought back by claiming the games they created were protected by Fair Use under the Copyright Act.