There seems to be a lot of outrage and confusion regarding CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077 trademark claim and people confusing trademark with copyright. So here is a short explanation for those who don’t know the difference. While you can’t make a copyright claim on a word (or genre) like Cyberpunk, you can trademark Cyberpunk as the name of something, like in this case a video game. And this is not the first time it has happened, it is a regular occurrence in the video game industry. Franchises with one-word names like Halo, Uncharted have all been trademarked. All the trademark does is prevent anyone else from using the name Cyberpunk for their game in a manner that makes it seem related to Cyberpunk 2077.
Or the Cyberpunk 2020 pen-and-paper RPG game that CD Projekt Red’s game is based on. Also, Cyberpunk was never a “common ground” word. The term Cyberpunk is almost universally associated with the writer William Gibson who was the first famous fictional writer who used the word regularly in his work. While Minnesota writer Bruce Bethke was the first to coined the term back in 1980. I would assume that CD Projekt Red simply bought the trademark off Mike Pondsmith the creator of the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game. CD Projekt Red has always been a company that has their fans concerns at heart, as their reply to people’s concerns on Twitter regarding the trademark has shown. I would not be too concerned as CD Projekt Red has set themselves apart from companies like EA.
[Editorial Note:] If I got my facts wrong or missed something please leave a comment below. Thanks!