Under the category of "WTH?" comes this news article. It was reported by various gaming news sites that Ubisoft nearly lost the trademark for "Watch Dogs" due to a still unknown source attempting to "abandon" the trademark. Trademark Abandonment is defined as:
"Abandoned means that the application is no longer pending and, thus, cannot mature into registration. During the pendency of an application, an examining attorney will issue an Office action letter to the correspondence address of record. A response to that letter must be received in the USPTO within six (6) months from the mailing date of that letter. If the Office does not receive a response within this period, the application is declared abandoned. The Office will then mail a notice of abandonment to the applicant or the applicant's attorney." - U.S. Patent and Trademark Web Site.
Earlier today. according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Ubisoft can now continue using the "Watch Dogs" name. However, they are unsure who attempted to abandon the trademark in the first place (offering much faith in the process of Trademarking):
"Here, the circumstances are extraordinary. An unknown party who lacked authority executed the purported abandonment of the application. Although the request appears to have been sent by [Ubisoft], [the publisher] declared that it did not submit the request and has every reason to believe that this filing was fraudulent. The director finds the application should not have been abandoned."
The original "express abandonment" request was filed on February 1, 2013. Upon discovery of the attempt, Ubisoft contact the USPTO to report the request as fraudulent. Ubisoft stated this trademark issue would have no effect on the development or upcoming release of Watch Dogs.
Only a month prior to the original release date, Ubisoft delayed Watch Dogs from November 2013 to sometime in the second quarter of 2014. The game will be available on PC and consoles.
Update: The release date has been set for May 27, 2014!