Mid last week, it surfaced that Sony Computer Entertainment had filed for a new trademark on the phrase “Let’s Play”, the term adopted as a label for videos involving internet streamers playing games live and providing commentary for their audience. Well, it would seem that the application for trademark has been denied.
A link to the status page for the trademark, posted on Kotaku on January 12, shows that the response from the United States Patent and Trade Office states that the trademark may not be filed due to a “Likelihood of Confusion Refusal”. Reading on confirms that the application was refused due to similarities to the previously existing “Let’z Play” trademark, owned by Let’z Play of America of Marietta, Georgia.
The speed bump is sure to put a stop to whatever the folks at Sony had planned, but one must stop and wonder what exactly was in store. Since the news broke last week, speculation and disgust has heavily surrounded the topic, many assuming that the plan was monetization. This is one possibility, though it’s one on the more extreme side of potential outcomes here. There are still many questions. The fact still remains that Sony has made no statement as to the intentions of this attempted trademark. Though the trademarking of a previously accepted and widely used phrase does come across as foul play, it is possible for their intentions to be innocent. It will be interesting to see where the company takes things from here.