Earlier today we wrote about thebizarre story (opens in new tab)of the Ubisoft/Gearbox collaboration, Brothers in Arms: Furious 4. Essentially, the companies raised some eyebrows after they allowed their trademarks for Furious 4 lapse after saying next-to-nothing about the game publicly for nearly a year since its reveal at E3 2011.
However, we contacted Ubisoft for clarification on the issue, and they've said that the lapsed trademarks were intentional.
"Initially, Ubisoft submitted the trademarks on behalf of Gearbox with Gearbox and Ubisoft as co-applicants," said Ubisoft's legal team according to a representative. "The [United States Patent and Trademark Office] rejected this approach (about 9 months ago), noting Gearbox's exclusive registrations for all Brothers in Arms trademarks. Given the USPTO choice between abandonment or continued administrative confusion on the matter, we simply opted for administrative abandonment until re-filing becomes necessary. To avoid confusion with the USPTO, Gearbox will be filing its future Brothers in Arms-related trademarks directly and individually."
However, Ubisoft stopped short of saying Furious 4 development is continuing normally. When we emailed with them, they only gave out information regarding the trademark issue, not about the rumors of Furious 4's cancellation or shelving. We're still contacting them for further information, and we'll update the story when we receive further information.