Nintendo Files Three "QOL" Trademarks, Covering "Handheld Game Apparatus with Liquid Crystal Displays"

New trademark applications likely related to Nintendo's mysterious Quality of Life initiative.

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Nintendo has filed three new trademark applications that give us a hint at what form the company's mysterious "Quality of Life" initiative may take. On July 25, Nintendo filed three different trademark applications with the United States Patent & Trademark Office for something called "QOL."

One of the QOL trademarks is for "providing games via communication by handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays." Another covers "controllers and joysticks for consumer video game apparatus." A third, meanwhile, is for "electronic circuits, optical discs, ROM cards, ROM cartridges, CD-ROMs, and memory cards storing programs for consumer video game apparatus."

A common thread between the three trademark applications is that they are all tied to "handheld game apparatus with liquid crystal displays." What does it all mean? We have reached out to a Nintendo representative for comment, but have not heard back as of press time.

In May, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata outlined Nintendo's vision for its new "Quality of Life" program, but failed to offer anything in the way of specifics about it. One thing that Iwata did make clear, however, is that that Nintendo's Quality of Life initiative, whatever it is, won't be like another Nintendo product before it.

"When we use 'health' as the keyword, some may inevitably think about Wii Fit. However, we are considering themes that we have not incorporated to games for our existing platforms," he said at the time. "Including the hardware that will enable such an idea, we will aim to establish a blue ocean."

Nintendo's Quality of Life project is described as a "completely new field of business," and one that will involve some form of "non-wearable" technology. More information about this initiative will be shared later on in 2014 (perhaps soon, if the trademarks are any indication), with a full launch of the product scheduled for sometime during Nintendo's fiscal year, which begins in April 2015 and runs through March 2016.

Nintendo reported earnings today for the quarter ended June 30, and the results were not great. Despite strong Mario Kart 8 sales and an uptick in Wii U hardware units sold, Nintendo still posted a $97 million loss for the period.

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