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‘Let’s Play’ enters the public domain as USPTO kills Sony’s trademark attempt

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Image used with permission by copyright holder
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has updated its rejection of Sony’s recent “Let’s Play” trademark request, making it much less likely that the company’s attempt to seize control of the phrase will succeed.

According to the USPTO’s updated statement, the phrase “Let’s Play” is “merely descriptive” within a broader context related to gaming, and its common usage is now cited as the reasoning behind the organization’s rejection of Sony’s request.

An initial rejection for the trademark attempt earlier this month was due to a conflict with an existing mark for “LP Let’z Play” established by a Georgia gaming company in 2013. In failing to recognize the broader significance of the phrase, the USPTO left the door open for Sony to submit an updated appeal.

After reviewing the matter, the USPTO found that “Let’s Play” was part of a larger vernacular, and is therefore ineligible for trademark. The new decision all but ensures that Sony’s attempted trademark is dead in the water.

The McArthur Law Firm takes credit for the revised decision, noting that it submitted “over 50 examples of how Let’s Play is generic and descriptive of video game streaming” in order to thwart Sony’s trademark attempt.

“The gaming community spoke, and the USPTO listened!” the firm announced this week. “The USPTO has finally agreed that ‘Let’s Play’ is a common term in the industry and it issued a strong rebuke of Sony’s attempt to monopolize the term.”

“To support its rejection, the USPTO’s evidence consisted entirely of the first two sources included in our Letter of Protest: the Wikipedia page for Let’s Play and the /r/letsplay subreddit,” the firm adds. “Given the strength of this evidence, we are confident that Sony will not be able to overcome this rejection. The term ‘Let’s Play’ is now forever in the public domain.”

Danny Cowan
Danny’s passion for video games was ignited upon his first encounter with Nintendo’s Duck Hunt, and years later, he still…
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