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Take-Two, Rockstar complaint against Pinkerton dismissed

Suit dropped as defendant withdraws cease and desist claim against Red Dead Redemption 2 publisher and developer

Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar have moved to dismiss a lawsuit against Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations that was filed earlier this year in response to a cease and desist letter, as the firm has withdrawn its claims.

The dismissal, which was initially reported by GameDaily.biz, is the latest in a back and forth between the game studios and the firm regarding trademark and historical references in Red Dead Redemption 2. The dispute began in December of last year, when Pinkerton issued a cease and desist letter to the two companies.

The letter alleged that Pinkerton's trademarks were used without permission in Red Dead Redemption 2, which features the Pinkerton Detective Agency as a part of its story. Pinkerton complained that agents "are used as villains, hunting the game's protagonists."

Pinkerton sought a settlement figure as a part of the cease and desist, though it was later revealed that the firm was also demanding ongoing royalties from sales of the game.

That information came to light when Take-Two and Rockstar filed a complaint in January in response to Pinkerton's cease and desist, arguing that the references in the game were historical and that Pinkerton could not "use trademark law to own the past."

Take-Two and Rockstar have now moved to dismiss that January complaint. When asked for comment on if an agreement was reached with the firm, Take-Two responded with the following statement:

"Take-Two can confirm that the present day Pinkerton Consulting & Investigation company has withdrawn its claims against Red Dead Redemption 2, and Take-Two will not continue legal action against Pinkerton. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a work of fiction set in the late 1800s that references historical entities active during that time."

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.