Is Nintendo Duck Hunting without a license?

According to some Matlocking done by Destructoid C-blogger MaxVest, Nintendo’s grasp on the Duck Hunt trademark may be in some serious jeopardy in the not so distant future. That is, taking into consideration that a successful appeal isn’t made to overturn the US Patent Office’s recent move to block Nintendo from re-registering the Duck Hunt trademark.

As set forth by the Gods of trademark law, a legal loophole exists which states that one can only stake claim to a trademark for a certain period of time, and that goods must be sold under that name. In the case of Duck Hunt, Nintendo let the original filing simmer a bit too long — the last and only renewal was in 1992. But it gets better. Nintendo tried once again to renew what is rightfully theirs a few months later, and were struck down on the grounds that the name is a generic “descriptive” term, and beyond the bounds of ownership. One can only imagine Nintendo’s surprise, when that rebuff surfaced. As far as most gamers are concerned, the words Duck Hunt (outside of real-life hunting, of course) are synonymous with one name only –Nintendo.

Call it a gut feeling, but something tells me that Nintendo is going to win out in the end. That, and we can probably expect a familiar name to show up in the Wii’s forthcoming lineup of games. After all, there’s no sense in fighting over something you don’t plan on using in the first place, right? Make sure to check out MaxVest’s blog, where further details are etched out in full.

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