They discovered what Let’s Plays are
A few weeks ago, Sony tried to trademark the phrase ‘Let’s Play’. Seeing as it’s a ubiquitous term for commentated gameplay that’s been used since the Something Awful forums coined it back in 2007, it’s no surprise that the US Patents and Trademarks Office shot it down. What was interesting was the USPTO’s justification for doing so.
It didn’t originally deny the application because of it being a well-known and widely used term, like you’d have expected them to. It denied it because someone else already has a similar trademark. Since 2013, a Georgia-based company that connects gamers to events has been going by the name LP Let’z Play of America. Seeing as both are to do with video games, the USPTO deemed there to be a high risk of confusion, and so Sony was shot down with no mention of the actual meaning of the term.
It seems as though the USPTO has now finally realised it missed a pretty big reason to deny the application. It has updated its ruling to state that the phrase ‘Let’s Play’ is so widespread and common when discussing commentated gameplay, that it’s simply just a descriptor and not a brand. It’d be like trademarking ‘duck’ or ‘vacuum cleaner’.
Sony still has six months to challenge the ruling, but seeing as the USPTO decided to go back and strengthen its case, I don’t think Sony will get very far with it.
Next week: Sony tries to trademark the word ‘foot’.
Sony’s “Let’s Play” Trademark Denial Amended by USPTO [DualShockers]