Microsoft denied Killer Instinct trademark renewal

USPTO refuses application for renewal, citing possible confusion with Fox's since-ended TV series of the same name.

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has refused to allow Microsoft to renew its Killer Instinct trademark. In a government filing, the office said it would not allow it due to the possibility of confusion with Fox's since-ended television series Killer Instinct.

"In the present case, applicant’s mark is Killer Instinct and registrant's mark is Killer Instinct. Thus, the marks are identical in terms of appearance and sound," a line from the statement reads "In addition, the connotation and commercial impression of the marks do not differ when considered in connection with applicant's and registrant's respective goods and services."

"Thus, upon encountering Killer Instinct for 'video game software' and 'entertainment services, namely, providing online video games' and Killer Instinct for 'entertainment services in the nature of a television series featuring drama,' consumers are likely to be confused and mistakenly believe that the respective goods and services emanate from a common source."

Fox's crime drama Killer Instinct aired in 2005 and spanned just one season.

Microsoft applied to renew its Killer Instinct trademark in September, sparking a belief that the company may have been in some way interested in reviving the '90s fighting franchise.

Though the USPTO has refused to allow Microsoft to renew its Killer Instinct trademark, Microsoft is allowed to respond to the refusal by submitting evidence and arguments to support its claim.

Written By

Want the latest news about Killer Instinct (1995)?

Killer Instinct (1995)

Killer Instinct (1995)

Discussion

1 comments
FThis1992
FThis1992

So they care more about a piece of sh*t show that lasted for one season, no one watched or cared for and should'nt have existed instead of a game franchise that everyone knows and cares for? Well my fate in humanity went down another point ten million.

j2323j
j2323j

This game needs to be made agian for online all systems

And for the best part bragging rights (yes im the best at this game)

Kastigador
Kastigador

This is a perfect example of why the USPTO is not functioning as intended. The motive behind TM law wasn't to protect a namesake or brand from anyone else using it, ever, it was just to prevent anyone that would essentially confuse consumers into believing they are buying one product when they are really buying the other. I fail to see how a defunct TV show could be confused with an Arcade fighting game that pre-dated the show itself anyway. Furthermore, Killer Instinct isn't a very unique combination of words with regards to titling creative works. Regardless of how you feel about MS/Rare/this game, this is yet another one of many USPTO debacle that is truly paralyzing our country's ability to innovate.

drgribb
drgribb

good.   It's not like Microsoft was ever going to do anything with it anyway.  And if they did, they'd probably make Rare craft some trash like Perfect Dark Zero, Nuts & Bolts, or any of those lame kinect games (not talking about all kinect games- just the Rare ones).  Hopefully it'll be able tot find it's way back to Nintendo-  I miss Rare games :'(

rising_k
rising_k

Wait a minute, so if a game came out before a crappy show (of the same name) but if the show got trademarked and the original game somehow needs to be re-trademark for a return, it won't be able too? Who made these kind of rules, so if somehow there isn't a WipEout (the Psygnosis futuristic racing game) game coming out for years and the crappy Wipeout mini-game compilation based on the ABC reality game show of the same name seem to still exist and if Psygnosis wanted to re-trademark WipEout for a return, they won't be able to? Who is in control of this USPTO? Whoever it is this case stinks, Killer Instinct the game came out first, nobody cares about that crappy show.

botsio
botsio

screw that! this game existed b4 the latter who is then supposed to sue who!

darkjedilink
darkjedilink

I didn't even know there was a TV show called Killer Instinct.  Also, what x_hunter00 said.

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

Wait, following the USPTOs logic then FOX's application should have been denied in the first place as the show "Killer Instinct" would have been confused with the game "Killer Instinct" (which at the time had an est. brand following).  What kind of stupidity is that!!!

angelofbeast198
angelofbeast198

finders keeper Killer Instinct was in in the 90s they are just making excuses

Rennik_Repotsir
Rennik_Repotsir

I don't care about the name. If it looks like KI, plays like KI, then it is KI. If MS funds the project for Rare to develop KI, then I would have a reason to actually play my 360.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

Are you kidding me? Confused with a TV show that no-one's ever heard of (and clearly no-one watched). When people hear the term 'Killer Instinct' they think of the game! I think these people at USPTO might be the only people who have even heard of this TV show.

 

Anyway... the title of this article made me think that Microsoft refused to admit they even applied in the first place. O_o

metal_core
metal_core

unbelievable, those in the USPTO, are IDIOTS -_-

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

So... I guess we shouldn't expect a new KI... ever then. If we haven't had one yet then either Rare or Microsoft aren't interested in bringing it back to us. I feel angry, people. 

deathsquad99
deathsquad99

Just call it "Ultra Fu**ing Combo" or "UFC" for short. Oh....wait...

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

just rename it to Street Fighter Killer, problem solved

StinkySkunkGirl
StinkySkunkGirl

Now, as gamers, it's understandable that we may not be the most likely to have heard of the show Killer Instinct. Even I have never heard of it, despite watching a good amount of TV back when this aired and searching up various things about the game Killer Instinct in the past. Perhaps, despite having only been one season long and airing several years ago, it possessed a decent amount of mainstream success.

 

...that is, until you take note of the fact that this show was so unpopular that even the folks at Microsoft collectively managed to overlook it.

accesdenied
accesdenied

damn that just killed all hope.  I would get the new xbox just for this game.

leeko_link
leeko_link

Shoulda had renew this trademark sooner in 2005, doing it now only cause conflict with the IP. Hopefully Microsoft could find some evidence to fight back though I believe the only thing to do now is go back to Nintendo get some.

tightwad34
tightwad34

I had never heard of the show until these articles came out. Of course I remember the game, played the shit out of it at a friends house way back in the day. I was a Genesis guy, so I didn't have the game. So yeah, this is a pretty stupid legal case(it's not the only one, though).

kingisaactheiv
kingisaactheiv

They need to figure out how to remake this game so I can hear the announcer go......ULTRA!!!!!!!!

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

So I may not get the next installment of one of my favorite fighting series because of some crappy Fox show I've never even heard of, that bombed out after one season?

SolanOcard
SolanOcard

there is absolutely zero chance of consumers confusing a game called Killer Instinct with a tv show that aired for a single season 7 years ago which I have never heard of. I can guarantee not a single person living, dead or otherwise would pick up a Killer Instinct game and be disappointed it was not based on the television series. The judge is an idiot.

Sento_brean
Sento_brean

Well I guess it will have to go under a different name how about, INSTINCTIVE KILLER 3?

Tekken312
Tekken312

So Microsoft can't renew its trademark because people will confuse it with a show they never watched. I know of at least one movie called Killer Instinct (which has nothing to do with the game). Are its creators screwed as well?

Nibraybirk
Nibraybirk

I thought this article was about that Fox show. ( That I never heard of. )

RonnieBarzel
RonnieBarzel

It really doesn't matter that Nintendo used it first. The trademark that Nintendo was granted in 1995 had to be renewed every 10 years under Section 8 & 9 of the USPTO code. Microsoft just dropped the ball, freeing it up for another company to use in a vaguely similar way.

kounterfeit
kounterfeit

That's quite the ccccccccccccombo breaker!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2complicated
2complicated

I have a feeling that Google, Youtube, and Wikipedia are gonna get some hits for Killer Instinct "game" and "TV show" for awhile.

King9999
King9999

I never even heard of a Killer Instinct TV show until this bit of news popped up.

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

Well, in all honesty, it's not like MS would have done anything with it besides protect their ill-gotten IPs.

Coco_pierrot
Coco_pierrot

If Microsoft never renew the trademark in 2005 ... Fox did it for their show ... and now Microsoft can't use the name.

 

In the worst case scenario (if a new KI is to be made) they will do the same thing as Namco did with Soul Edge ... which turned into Soul Caliber

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

Wow.....sry in advance for the language, but this is some bull ****!

LAXsmidty
LAXsmidty

Geez Sony, all you gotta do is make a show called "Halo", and Microsoft will lose one of its biggest money makers.

Furwings
Furwings

The patent office is just using the TV series as an excuse. In reality they just don't want to see a Killer Instinct game for Kinect...they're just looking out for all of us ;)

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

I didn't even know that show ever existed! 

nathanmaxtro
nathanmaxtro

WTF?!

 

Trademark denied because of a show nobody heard of that ended seven years ago?

CRS98
CRS98

Another example of media bias against video games. The first thing that comes up in a search is the game anyway, which is a decade older and has many more fans than whatever the TV show is.

GamespotSux_IKR
GamespotSux_IKR

???  ok....So what does this mean for the future of Killer instinct??

leeko_link
leeko_link

 @x_hunter00 You said, I had trouble confusing WipEout with Wipeout already. Sony needs to sue Activision's ass real soon too.

ad1x2
ad1x2

 @PSYCHOV3N0M There were also two Killer Instinct movies that came out in 1988 and 1991, as well as a book that came out in 2006. Which makes me wonder why the denial was specifically based on the Fox TV show most of us never heard of since only nine episodes aired in the US.

david1230
david1230

 @leeko_link USPTO is going to allow microsoft the patent later this month, do some research on it, a non popular barely making one season on fox  tv show will not overshadow the years of fun gaming that KI had going on ULTRAAAA ULTRAAAA ULTRAAAAA

angelofbeast198
angelofbeast198

 @tightwad34 for real i tho they had a show base on the game i was like wtf they have show base on the game and i did not know about i look it up i was like you kidding me 2005 this game was made in the 90 they are just making excuses 

SolanOcard
SolanOcard

Why didn't that show have a problem calling it that when the Killer Instinct game franchise was still (fairly) fresh in the minds of consumers?

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

 @nathanmaxtro trade mark denied because MS didn't renew it in 2005 and Fox put a new application in.

Question is, will Fox renew the KI trade mark in 2015? (if they don't ms can always re-apply)