Update: Not confirmed – Ubisoft says Watch Dogs is still coming to Wii U, trademark abandonment likely not a big deal
Update 2: Polygon has modified its story to indicate that it received confirmation from GameStop as opposed to Ubisoft.
Update: As it turns out, we do not have an official statement from Ubisoft. Polygon sources a Reuters article which does not specifically mention the Wii U version’s status.
Original: Despite Ubisoft’s relative silence on the matter, Watch Dogs is indeed still slated for Wii U.
The publisher first reconfirmed its plans to release on Wii U following talk of pre-orders being cancelled at some GameStop locations in Italy and the US. And after the title wasn’t included in Nintendo’s third quarter financial report, Ubisoft said for a second time that the game was set to launch in the first quarter of Ubisoft and Nintendo’s fiscal year. This period kicks off in April.
And as for Ubisoft’s plans to abandon one of Watch Dogs’ trademarks in the US? It doesn’t sound like it’ll be a big deal, especially with Ubisoft confirming that the game is still being polished.
Jed Wakefield, intellectual property litigation specialist at firm Fenwick and West, told Polygon of the trademark situation:
“It doesn’t look like an intentional abandonment of the mark altogether. There could be other practical reasons that they are letting that particular application go. They could be coming up with a different description and will reapply using that description.
“Sometimes people withdraw trademark applications as part of a resolution of a dispute of someone else using a trademark. It could be other people who own trademarks involving the term ‘Watch Dogs’ or other kinds of software might have reached out and expressed concerns. Or it could mean the way they’re actually releasing the game would mean they couldn’t come up with specimens of use that would meet the description in that particular application.”
“From a big picture standpoint, sometimes a description of goods in an application becomes unsupportable as your product evolves and you realize that your technology or your product have outstripped the words you used to describe the goods and services. I wouldn’t read into it that the company is not planning on using the mark, nor would I read into it that they’re not releasing the game because of it.”