A couple months ago, Microsoft filed to renew the trademark on the Killer Instinct brand. Killer Instinct was made by Rare, and Microsoft straight-up bought the developer in 2002, along with whatever IPs it held onto. Interestingly, however, a post on GameInformer from today reports that the US Patent & Trademark Office has denied Microsoft’s renewal. Why? Because of a short-lived Fox show of the same name that went off the air in 2005. Whoops!
According to the GI post, the office thought that “the trademark descriptions could be construed as similar, and in the end the resulting products might cause confusion.” Which is funny, since the show was on for three months, while the video game had two installments over the course of a few years, in both arcades and on two home-console platforms. As to why or how the Fox show wasn’t denied its trademark back in 2005 because of potential confusion with the TV show is a mystery to me.
The post notes that Microsoft can appeal the decision, and I have a pretty good feeling that they will. I mean, I’m not sure that the Killer Instinct brand really NEEDS to be revived. One of the characters is a robot with a ponytail named Fulgore. Sometimes games so of a particular time are better left dead.
Anyway, stay tuned.