Last September we reported that Microsoft and Rare had filed a trademark renewal for their hit fighting title, Killer Instinct. It’s been a while now, and finally a response came back, which sadly isn’t what many had hoped for.
Originally found by Neogaf users, the official documents show that the FOX, the broadcasting company, actually owns the trademark for a TV drama serial killer show (Killer Instinct) that no longer airs. The show produced 13 episodes, with only 9 showings. Now the reason why Microsoft and Rare were denied the renewal of the trademark was because people would get them confused.
In the present case, applicant’s mark is KILLER INSTINCT and registrant’s mark is KILLER INSTINCT. Thus, the marks are identical in terms of appearance and sound. In addition, the connotation and commercial impression of the marks do not differ when considered in connection with applicant’s and registrant’s respective goods and services.
Therefore, the marks are confusingly similar.
Thus, upon encountering KILLER INSTINCT for “video game software” and “entertainment services, namely, providing online video games” and KILLER INSTINCT for “entertainment services in the nature of a television series featuring drama, “consumers are likely to be confused and mistakenly believe that the respective goods and services emanate from a common source.
So does anyone even remember this show? Probably not, considering the air time it had. Hopefully this doesn’t halt the progress of any potential future title. Perhaps, a name change will occur. Brute Force anyone?