CD Projekt RED, the development team behind The Witcher games, is currently working on the much anticipated and secretive Cyberpunk 2077. Not much is known about the game other than it will take place in a future cyberpunk setting (obviously), but some recent news seems to reveal that the Polish video game company may be trying to trademark the word “cyberpunk.”
According to the image found on Imgur, CD Projekt RED is pushing for trademark classifications 9 and 41. In case you’re not a copyright lawyer, trademark class 9 is reserved for “computers and scientific devices,” such as media content, firmware and software, including computer games. Trademark class 41, on the other hand, is reserved for “education and entertainment services,” which video games, of course, fall under.
This sounds like CD Projekt RED may be overstepping their bounds, especially since they didn’t even come up with the term–that honor goes to Minnesota writer Bruce Bethke who coined the term for his 1980 short story “Cyberpunk”–and it refers to an entire subgenre of science-fiction. In reality, CD Projekt RED is just trying to prevent other developers from using the word cyberpunk in the title of their games. So even if the word does get trademarked, people will still be able to use it to describe other games and works of fiction.
As for Cyberpunk 2077, hopefully the final product that gets shipped turns out to be amazing enough to offset this trademark controversy. Coming from the creators of games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, that shouldn’t be too high an expectation.