Last week CD Projekt RED, the developers of The Witcher series who are currently working on the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077, filed an official trademark on the word "Cyberpunk." Like just about everything that so much as sneezes the wrong way these days, this caused a bit of confusion and concern amongst the general public. Today, the company stepped forward on Twitter to explain themselves, and say "chill, it's no big deal and here's why" albeit in a much more detailed and PR-friendly fashion.
Here's the tweet:
Information about Cyberpunk trademark. pic.twitter.com/4mufRCp9Gf
— CD PROJEKT RED (@CDPROJEKTRED) April 6, 2017
What you need to know is that it boils down to hard working developers simply trying to protect themselves and their work. Cyberpunk 2077 has cost CD Projekt RED thousands of company hours and much more in financing not to mention that it represents the future of the entire studio. As they point out in their post, "it's a self-defense measure only."
It's also worth mentioning that a "Trademark" and a "Copyright" or "Patent" are not the same things. CD Projekt RED trademarking the word "Cyberpunk" does not mean that someone else can't use the word in a title for their game or that they have a monopoly over the theme or genre. As they put it, "it does not give any exclusivity to set a game in a certain environment, or in a certain genre."
So there you have it. CD Projekt RED is not evil, they're just looking out for themselves, like anyone with a remote sense of rationality should do.