USPTO denies Microsoft’s application for Killer Instinct trademark

killer instinct xbla

Tuesday was tumultuous for Microsoft! On the one hand, its hugely successful game console Xbox 360 was rescued from retail bans in both the United States and Germany. That’s good! On the other hand, its new operating system Windows 8 was deemed a monumental failure in the video game industry by data from both digital retailer Steam and physical retail tracker the NPD Group. That’s bad. Then there’s the Killer Instinct trademark, another piece of bad news for the company and its gaming business.

Microsoft itself announced in September that it was renewing its trademark to Rare’s fondly remembered fighting game for the 1990s. It was cagey about the announcement, teasing a potential HD re-release of Killer Instinct or even the long-rumored Killer Instinct 3. Neither will happen any time soon. The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Microsoft the rights to the Killer Instinct trademark on Tuesday because it’s currently held by News Corp. subsidiary Fox.

“Trademark Ace 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 or the applicant and registrant,” reads the USPTO’s ruling.

Did Fox at some point make a game about werewolves punching skeletons repeatedly? No. The work in question is actually one of Fox’s many failed television dramas. It aired one season of a show also called Killer Instinct back in 2005, about eight years after Rare and Nintendo released Killer Instinct Gold, the last of the fighting series.

The USPTO clearly doesn’t use Google when determining trademark registration since it’s abundantly clear that there’s a distinction between the ridiculous 1990s brawler and a failed crime drama. The Wikipedia entry for Rare’s fighter is in fact the very first search result, then the show.

Hopefully Microsoft is able to win the rights to the name in short order. Microsoft Game Studios creative director Ken Lobb, creator of the entire Killer Instinct series, has been lobbying for the return of his franchise for years, but he’s also said that a digital release needs to succeed before a new game gets made. “I obviously have personal feelings about Killer Instinct, but I do think it’s got a place,” said Lobb in 2010, “Let’s bring back something that people loved in the past and see how it does on Live Arcade.”

Source: Eurogamer

Features

From NES to PlayStation, retro gaming is booming. But will it last?

Everyone craves the good old days, and companies like Nintendo and Sony are cashing in with their mini versions of beloved retro consoles. But is this fad built to last or will our fixation with pixelated graphics come and go like mom…
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Gaming

‘Blockchain gaming’ startup gets $16 million in Series A funding

A gaming startup, Mythical Games, has raised $16 million in Series A funding to work on their concept of blockchain gaming. The aim is for the startup to develop games for the PC, console, and mobile markets.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ named Ultimate Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick awards

This year's Golden Joysticks, the gaming awards handed out by GamesRadar, have been announced and Fortnite has been named the Ultimate Game of the Year. It beat out Red Dead Redemption for best game, but Red Dead was named critics' choice.
Gaming

Want to gift a Steam game so you can play with a friend? Here's how to do it

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Gaming

‘Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers’ to launch next summer with gunblades, Viera

Square Enix revealed that Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers will be released in summer 2019. The third expansion of the MMORPG will include new story content, dungeons, and raids, in addition to gunblades and the Viera.
Gaming

The Fix PUBG campaign is over: What’s next for ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’?

The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds development team declared that the Fix PUBG campaign was over. Here are the results of the three-month campaign, as well as the future plans for the multiplayer Battle Royale shooter.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Gaming

Get an Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 for just $200 at GameStop starting Sunday

GameStop is currently running an early Black Friday sale that offers an Xbox One S or a PlayStation 4 slim model for just $200 apiece. Both consoles come with a free game, and other games are also on sale.
Gaming

Original ‘Diablo’ developer calls out Blizzard for disrespecting its employees

In a Twitch rant, an original creator of Diablo has said that Blizzard is more interested in caring for its shareholders and the elite one percent of the company than looking after its workers.