Sony’s “Let’s Play” Trademark Denial Amended by USPTO

on January 27, 2016 7:36 PM

The United States Patent and Trademark Office hasn’t even let Sony respond to their previous denial for the “Let’s Play” trademark. Diligent readers will remember that last year Sony tried, unsuccessfully, to trademark popular gaming term “Let’s Play.” To little surprise, the USPTO denied the application. However, the reason behind the denial was due to a Georgian arcade doing business under the name LP LETZ PLAY. Under the likelihood of confusion test, the USPTO found the terms to be too similar.

Typically, Sony would at this point have six months to renew the application, answering the complaints from the previous denial. Interestingly, the USPTO jumped the gun and amended their original denial, adding evidence that the term “Let’s Play” is actively used by the streaming community as “a video, or less commonly a series of screenshots, documenting a playthrough of a video game, almost always including commentary by the gamer.”

Seeing that Sony was filing this application in connection with “[e]lectronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks,” the USPTO found that the mark was merely descriptive. In layman’s terms, it would be like trademarking “Potato Chips” to sell potato chips.

While this stands as a much more prominent denial of the mark, it is important to note that the application is not dead. Sony and their attorneys have six months to respond to the application.

Let's Play Trademark

 /  Editor-in-Chief
Lou Contaldi is the Editor-in-Chief at DualShockers, specializing in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.