CD Projekt Red put a trademark on the word "Cyberpunk", but that doesn't mean everyone else is forbidden from using it. The trademark is only there to protect the company's hard work and they don’t plan on using the trademark offensively.
What will happen if you decide to use the word regardless?
Well, you'll immediately blow up in a cloud of smoke and your worst high school enemy will get a puppy. Just kidding.
They'll get two puppies.
For real though, this doesn't mean what you think it means. CD Projekt Red did trademark "Cyberpunk" but that doesn't mean that no one else can use the word from now until the end of days.
Over the course of the last few days, The Witcher 3 developer filed for a trademark for the word "Cyberpunk" in Europe. The company already has registrations for the word in the United States, and those were filed back in 2011. This news took a lot of Redditors by surprise, because, while the practise is surely common, no one expected such a move from CD Projekt.
CD Projekt Red
Twitter was once again the source of solace as the company tweeted an explanation to everything.
Their short answer: “We want to protect our hard work and we don’t plan on using the trademark offensively – It’s a self-defence measure only,”
Basically, they have the rights to produce a video game based on pen'n'paper role playing games "Cyberpunk 2013" and "Cyberpunk 2020", set in the universe created by Mike Pondsmith.
Mr Pondsmith's company has already had some "Cyberpunk" trademarks when CD Projekt acquired the trademark registrations from them in 2011.
Now, CD Projekt put in a lot of work and time developing a video game based on those games, and it will be called "Cyberpunk 2077". Notice how the game's name doesn't have many words in it other than the word in question. That is why the company wants to protect that particular word.
CD Projekt Red
Naturally CD Projekt are concerned that someone could register "Cyberpunk" in the future and keep them from naming eventual sequels to this game anything remotely reminiscent to the name of the original.
As a "trademark is not a copyright or patent" CD Projekt can't forbid you to use that word in the name of your game, or anywhere else for that matter.
Their explanation boils down to this: if the customer won't get confused and mix up their and someone else's game, it's completely fine to have the word "Cyberpunk" in the name.
An example of a fair game title would be: "John Smith: Adventures in a Cyberpunk Society".
Read the full tweet below: