Sega Loses Shenmue Trademark Because they Didn’t Bother Using it

Shenmue fans have been suffering and complaining due to the lack of any news of a return of the series, that has been left unfinished since 2001. Something surprising (or maybe not too surprising) has just happened: the trademark for “Shenmue” has recently been canceled in the United States by the Patent and Trademark Office because Sega hasn’t been using it.

The trademark page explains that the cancellation happened “because registrant did not file an acceptable declaration under Section 8.”

Section 8 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1058 is a regulation that requires a sworn declaration on the “continued use” of a trademark or “excusable nonuse,” to be provided  between the 5th and 6th  years and between the 9th and 10th years after the registration date. Since the trademark was registered in 2002, the second step wasn’t successfully completed.

Apparently Sega either did not provide the declaration required to keep the trademark, or did not manage to bring up a suitable excuse for the fact that the company hasn’t been making commercial use of it.

We’ll keep you updated on any relevant development of this rather weird situation.

Join the Discussion

  • Nicholas Perry

    Oh I hope something nice comes out of this.

  • Dollow Rlance

    What the heck? First Sakura Wars now this? Something is going on.

    • PrinceHeir

      I think this is only in the US?

      pretty sure they could still use the IP in Japan.

      but yeah, wtf is happening Sega!?!

      • Anime10121

        They can still use the IP here too, however if someone else registers a trademark for the name (and come on, who in the west would register a trademark for “Shenmue” in the west besides a trademark troll), they just wouldnt be able to call it Shenmue in the west.

    • stealth20k

      Sakura wars I could actually see happening again

  • Wargreymon559 .
  • Alex Hine

    Now Shenmue can be made by someone else? No need for product licensing for fan goods? What does this really mean?

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Even if someone else were to register the trademark, that wouldn’t give them the right to the intellectual property, only the name.

  • Armbreakfire

    Let’s wait for some concrete evidence… It would be kinda funny tho

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Can’t have more concrete evidence than official documentation on a government site. There aren’t really two ways to interpret this 😀

      • Armbreakfire

        Its dated back to 2009. I don’t get it.. Did they ppl just realize this now or what? And does anyone own in now? If so who? The article is lacking information.

  • FlotsamX

    They deserve it.

  • doubleO7

    Not a dig deal. This doesn’t really change anything. The original trademark expired back in 2009. The one that just expired was filed back in ’03, probably in relation to the long cancelled Shenmue Online.

    Sega still owns the IP.

  • Joshua Kepler

    Not only this, but Sony said next month massive news concerning a series is coming out, and funnily enough, the Shenmue creator is speaking at the GDC. Could all this be a coincidence or fate?

  • DogmaPyramid

    “Recently been cancelled”? Really? More like “recently been discovered that it was cancelled back in 2009”.

  • Robert

    The Shenmue trademark that expired was actually one filed in regards to Shenmue Online. The original Shenmue trademark expired back in 2009.

  • BillyHoWCR

    People are just reaching for crap…

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