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.