Ahem, huh? Well this is… strange. Around September of this year, Microsoft submitted an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), setting off a flurry on speculation of whether a new Killer Instinct game was being made if a re-release of the previous two KI games on XBLA was possible. Unfortunately looks like those plans might be stifled a bit as, according to Eurogamer, the USPTO denied Microsoft’s application due to someone else having it. Fox currently owns the trademark, which they used for the shortlived slogfest of a crime drama called… Killer Instinct.
USPTO explains. “Trademark Act Section 2(d) bars registration of an applied-for mark that so resembles a registered mark that it is likely that a potential consumer would be confused, mistaken, or deceived as to the source of the goods and/or services of the applicant and registrant…” In other words, they believe people might be confused into thinking that the Killer Instinct game is based on the Fox TV show. If that’s the case, why did the USPTO OK the registration to Fox when a videogame with that name existed long before that?
Or maybe some sort of strange loophole opened up around 2005. Nintendo still had the trademark to the Killer Instinct name in 2005, which oddly enough goes against the statements made by the Stamper brothers when they were interviewed by Videogames Daily back then. They first filed it in 1994, and it went into effect in 1996. Nintendo’s trademark ended in 2006, a year after the TV show aired. The name was then filed by Fox in 2005 and registered to Fox in 2008, three years after the show aired and two years after Nintendo’s trademark expired.
Either way, Microsoft can still fight the USPTO’s ruling. They have 6 months to do it, and they have more than enough evidence to to prove that more people know about the game than the show. Another reason USPTO’s ruling is is a who bunch malarkey? Well, look at all the other Killer Instincts out there. Hell, go to Wikipedia look up just “Killer Instinct,” then come back here and tell me what loads.
Microsoft denied Killer Instinct trademark because of little-known 7 year old TV show [Eurogamer]