According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Nintendo has re-filed their trademark application for “Eternal Darkness”. Interestingly, Nintendo has decided to renew the trademark instead of letting lapse merely two weeks before Nintendo Switch’s Tokyo livestream where many are anticipating seeing the launch lineup.
Eternal Darkness first released on the Nintendo GameCube (utilizing the CryEngine) on June 23, 2002. While Nintendo had the trademark for the critically acclaimed game from launch until 2008, Nintendo’s trademark attorneys failed to file the necessary forms leading to the trademark’s cancellation.
From February 2010, Nintendo has filed three separate trademark applications trying to reclaim “Eternal Darkness” through pre-emptive Intent to Use trademark applications.
People familiar with trademark law know that a pre-emptive Intent to Use trademark application can only be extended five times, in six month intervals, otherwise the owner surrenders the right to the IP. Nintendo filed their last extension for “Eternal Darkness” more than half a half-year ago — the property “Eternal Darkness” will likely be considered abandoned afterwards.
To prevent this abandonment, it seems like Nintendo has filed another application for “Eternal Darkness”. This ultimately gives them another three and a half year extension to use the trademark.
Prudent gamers wouldn’t rush to judgement and believe that we are going to see Eternal Darkness or its crowd-sourced spiritual successor Shadow of the Eternals anytime soon. But with Nintendo Switch’s reveal right around the corner, you can’t help but wonder.