Watch_Dogs still isn’t the next Assassin’s Creed, and it’s still not cancelled. That much is good news, as far as we’re concerned.
This is where things get extra crazy. Yesterday’s trademark abandonment wasn’t a misunderstanding or a mistake.
It was fraud.
In a new filing with the US Patent and Trade Office, Ubisoft writes, “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.”
“The Request for Express Abandonment is fraudulent and was not filed by Ubisoft Entertainment or its representative,” Ubisoft said in the filing.
As much of a relief as it is to know Watch_Dogs is still coming, this speaks of a larger problem. The success of this makes me wonder what kinds of checks and balances there are against this kind of activity and how much more of it we’ll be seeing in the future. The individuals and groups committing this sort of fraud, along with the recent DDoS attacks against Valve and League of Legends‘ servers are finding more ways to gain attention for their actions. It’s likely we’ll see more and more of this kind of thing than we have before.
I can only imagine how intoxicating the rush of attention is whenever something like this happens and the rush of press coverage hits the web. With this being a relatively high profile event, though, I suspect the USPTO will be investigating the matter and taking preventative measures.
What we do know is that this isn’t going to delay Watch_Dogs again; the game is still on track for its second quarter release and the trademark should be properly reinstated long before that.