NEWS - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Killer Instinct trademark renewal DENIED

Microsoft’s application to renew the Killer Instinct trademark has been refused. According to a listing on the United States Patent and Trademark Office last updated on November 29th, the renewal has been refused due to “likelihood of confusion” with another trademark.

The trademark in question is held by Fox Television Studios, using the phrase “Killer Instinct” in reference to “entertainment services in the nature of a television series featuring drama.” While it isn’t explicitly referenced, the Fox trademark is almost certainly for the short-lived Killer Instinct television series that aired on Fox in 2005.

“In a likelihood of confusion determination, the marks in their entireties are compared for similarities in appearance, sound, connotation, and commercial impression,” the patent office notes. “In the present case, applicant’s mark is KILLER INSTINCT and registrant’s mark is KILLER INSTINCT. Thus, the marks are identical in terms of appearance and sound. In addition, the connotation and commercial impression of the marks do not differ when considered in connection with applicant’s and registrant’s respective goods and services. Therefore, the marks are confusingly similar.”

“Upon encountering KILLER INSTINCT for ‘video game software’ and ‘entertainment services, namely, providing online video games’ and KILLER INSTINCT for ‘entertainment services in the nature of a television series featuring drama,’ consumers are likely to be confused and mistakenly believe that the respective goods and services emanate from a common source,” the patent office concludes.

For now, it’s unclear how this will affect Microsoft’s plans for Killer Instinct, or even what those plans were to begin with. Back in September, Microsoft “either renewed or refiled a trademark application in various jurisdictions” in regard to Killer Instinct, though whether that meant an HD remake, sequel or something else entirely is anyone’s guess.



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