Following on from the frankly disheartening news about Sony apparently ‘abandoning‘ the US trademark for The Last Guardian, it appears hope is not lost as Superannuation rears their head again to explain the fiddly bits of US trademark law.
In a series of Tweets, the anonymous figure widely known for frequent bouts of LinkedIn snoopong, Superannuation explained what The Last Guardian’s trademark situation actually means for the game, “For a U.S. trademark, a company can file extensions for up to three years, at which point they have to provide an example of commercial use.
“That being 3 years from the USPTO issuing “Notice of Allowance.” NoA = there not being any conflicts with other marks and other requirements. The NoA for the Last Guardian mark was actually issued in Jan. 2010, which would give a limit to Jan. 2013 to prove use in commerce.
“‘Use in commerce’ meaning Sony has to prove they released the game, which I guess they realized wasn’t going to happen by January. There is, however, nothing stopping Sony from filing a new trademark registration for The Last Guardian, which I imagine they will do.
“As the [Notice of Abandonment] says, they can still send a petition to the USPTO to revive or request the mark, though the three year rule still applies.”
TL;DR – the Notice of Abandonment isn’t quite as dire as it first seemed and Sony effective have until January 2013 to file an extension and prove ‘commercial use’, which is as simple as referring to the E3 tech demo.
To further alleviate any fears of canned-Ico, Sony sent a statement to Wired earlier this evening confirming the game is still in development.
We hope that’s helped clear things up for you, now we highly recommend you get following Superannuation yourselves.