Trademark for Watch Dogs Restored After Hacker Prank

Following fake request being sent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) by a hacker to abandon the trademark title “Watch Dogs”, Ubisoft’s much-anticipated game title is finally safe.

There were reports earlier this week that Ubisoft was dropping the game after an “express abandonment” filing was submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) by the CEO of Ubisoft, Mr. Yves Guillemot.  However, it turned out that Guillemot did not request such a thing. The paperwork was in fact “filed” by a hacker.

PCMag reported the game maker saying that the company was working in direct contact with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-establish the Watch Dogs trademark, adding that “it will be active again in the coming days.”

According to a filing dated February 5, the trademark has already been reinstated, and a statement was signed by Guillemot declaring that the original abandonment request was not filed by him.

“Here, the circumstances are extraordinary. An unknown party who lacked authority executed the purported abandonment of the application,” the document from US Patent and Trademark Office said. “Although the request appears to have been sent by petitioner [Guillemot], petitioner declared that it did not submit the request and has every reason to believe that this filing was fraudulent.”

Ubisoft said that the temporary cancellation of the trademark will have no impact on the development of the game.

Watch Dogs was originally meant to be released on November 19, 2013, along with the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, but was delayed due to some internal quality issues.

The game, which is expect to hit shelves sometime this year, revolves around protagonist Aiden Pearce—a vigilante hacker/former criminal who lives in futuristic Chicago.  Based on a world where technology is run by a matrix of interconnected computers, or “smart cities,” Ubisoft reportedly turned to security firm Kaspersky Lab to make Pearce’s decisions more realistic.

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