Sony Attempts to Trademark “Let's Play,” Gets Blocked

By Published January 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) recently filed to receive a trademark for the term “Let's Play,” best-known for its tenure and long history in the YouTuber gameplay video space. SCEA's filing for the “Let's Play” trademark was blocked by the US Patent and Trademark Office on the grounds of being “confusingly similar” – a legal control for excessive trademarking in a similar vertical – to the “Let'z Play of America” organization's trademark.

Sony hasn't yet explained its filing for the “Let's Play” trademark, but the occurrence gave us flashbacks to Nintendo's draconian restriction of Fair Use content creation through abuse of YouTube's DMCA takedown services. To grant a trademark of the term would further threaten content creation on video hosting websites; luckily, large players and media outlets have so widely made use of the term that, we'd hope, it's safe from corporate acquisition.

For now, the USPTO has blocked Sony's attempt at acquiring the “Let's Play” trademark. The company could continue to push for approval, but is currently in a state of purgatory as the trademark filing is neither outright denied nor approved. It is blocked, which means that the USPTO requires additional information before forging ahead, but has put a hold on the acquisition on grounds of confusingly similar marks to the “Let'z Play” organization.

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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