Why Sony 'Abandoning' Trademark For The Last Guardian Means Nothing

The internet exploded today following news that Sony had "abandoned" the trademark for their much-anticipated PlayStation 3 game The Last Guardian. And indeed the US Patent and Trademark Office has filed a "Notice of Abandonment" to inform Sony that the trademark is reverting to public domain.

But despite rampant speculation, this doesn't mean that the long-troubled game has been cancelled, nor does it mean that Sony is abandoning anything. What it means is that the trademark expired. Sony had three years to use The Last Guardian's trademark, which was filed in 2009. They haven't. The game has not been released.

As Kotaku columnist Superannuation points out on Twitter, Sony would have until January 2013 to "prove use in commerce". In other words, they would have to release the game by then. That's not happening.

So what happens now? Sony can request an appeal or easily file a new registration for the trademark. They don't have to worry about anybody stealing it just for fun, since US laws make it difficult to "park" on a trademark without proving that you intend to use it. I've reached out to Sony just in case they have other plans. But it sure seems like this isn't big news at all.

Update: Sony sent a statement to Wired's Chris Kohler: "The Last Guardian is still in development."


    Sure it is. Being made by the same dev team as Half Life 2 Episode 3 and Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Apparently they're being released in a bundle.

    problem is, "the last guardian" isnt exactly something that would be that hard to make a game on the cheap for the purpose of parking it.

    Honestly, I don't know why people explode at stuff like this. Don't get hyped about shit that isn't even confirmed. It's like going out to a bar having a hot girl casually glance at you once and you immediately thinking that means she wants to bang on.

      At which point if you think there's a chance you act on it and likely get shutdown.

      Not reporting this would be stupid. Since if tommorow sony said oh it's cancelled your whole anti furor schtick would have failed

        Not to mention that a large amount of the time, the hype is correct and the developer usually just confirms it later on.

    It means they've been screwing around for much longer than they were supposed to, which is a bad sign in and of itself.

    It's been long enough in development, just bring it out already!.But not if it's unplayable and broken ... So, I guess, take your time.
    Goddamn logic.

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