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Sony fails to secure "Let's Play" trademark

UPDATE: USPTO agrees phrase is common industry term


Sony Computer Entertainment America has received another blow to its attempt to trademark Let's Play with the United States Patent And Trademark Office.

The McArthur Law Firm has shared its objection to the trademark in an online post:

"Two weeks ago, on behalf of the gaming community, The McArthur Law Firm filed a Letter of Protest with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). The letter spoke out against Sony's attempt to trademark the term “Let's Play” for video game streaming. In the letter, we cited over 50 examples of how Let's Play is generic and descriptive of video game streaming.

"The gaming community spoke, and the USPTO listened! 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."

Original story

In October Sony Computer Entertainment America attempted to trademark Let's Play with the United States Patent And Trademark Office but was refused due to its similarity to the existing trademark LP Let's Play.

A Neogaf poster "Seraphis Cain" spotted the patent application, which appear to hint at Sony's plans for consumer gaming events.

"Registrant's services are 'Entertainment services, namely to provide online and offline opportunities for video game enthusiasts to meet and participate in live video game tournaments and on-demand console gaming.' Applicant's services are 'Electronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks'", noted the official USPTO ruling.

"On balance, because the marks are highly similar and the services are closely related, consumer confusion is likely. Accordingly, registration is refused under Trademark Act Section 2(d)."

Sony has six months to argue against the refusal.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.