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Sony’s Attempt to Trademark ‘Let’s Play’ Hits Resistance
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Photo courtesy of the PlayStation Facebook page

Summary: One law firm that deals with trademark and copyright issues in the video game industry is trying to prevent Sony from taking “Let’s Play” as their trademark.

The term “Let’s Play” has been used for years by anyone referring to playing and recording video games. Sony is attempting to take this term and patent it for their own use and benefit, but one law firm is hoping they can prevent this from happening, Motherboard reports.

  
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Last week Sony filed paperwork to register their trademark as “Let’s Play.” The United States Patent Office is expecting to reject Sony’s application, but give them the opportunity to address problems with their application within six months. The biggest problem the USPTO has with the trademark is that it too closely resembles an existing trademark.

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McArthur Law Firm is hoping to prove that “Let’s Play” is a generic term used by thousands of people. As Stephen McArthur, the founding attorney at the firm, told Motherboard: “If Sony gets this trademark, someone will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to cancel the trademark and fighting Sony’s lawyers, and then you have the burden of proof for canceling their mark and that’s going to be a very difficult, uphill battle.”

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Currently, the term is used by YouTube and Twitch streamers to promote their videos, opening them up to being sued by Sony if they are able to register the trademark. This would include “Let’s Play” king Pewdiepie who has 41 million subscribers on YouTube.

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As of right now, the USPTO is mostly concerned with how closely “Let’s Play” is to the entertainment service “LP Let’z Play,” which provides “online and offline opportunities for video game enthusiasts to meet and participate in live video game tournaments and on-demand console gaming.”

Generally having trademarks so close for two companies that provide similar services would immediately stop Sony from being able to move forward with the application, but McArthur pointed out to Motherboard “the problem with that is that LZ Let’s Play has abandoned their trademark. So all Sony has to do is show the trademark office that this trademark is abandoned. As soon as they show that, [then] Sony’s application will go through.”

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The only thing McArthur can do is file a letter of protest with evidence that the term is a generic term for those in the gaming industry. He is providing blog posts from 2005 that discuss “Let’s Play” videos that have no relation to Sony, the “Let’s Play subreddit and videos from Pewdiepie.

McArthur’s biggest concern is that “whoever’s examining Sony’s application might not be a gamer, and you really have to be in the games industry to realize that ‘Let’s Play’ is an ubiquitous term.”

Source

Motherboard: Law Firm Challenges Sony’s ‘Let’s Play’ Trademark Before It’s Too Late

Photo courtesy of the PlayStation Facebook page



 

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