Trademarks are still fun

A few years ago, the US Patent and Trademark Office website was a great place to uncover games before they were announced. But companies have pretty much stopped trademarking titles before announcing them, to stop us from having fun searching the database.

But fuck the man, we can still have fun with the USPTO. We just have to be a bit more inventive.

Let’s look at Wii. It was first trademarked by England’s very own Wilkinson Sword in 1986, but as ‘W’ and the Roman numeral ‘II’, which isn’t quite the same. It’s a long dead trademark, anyway.

And what Nintendo have been doing with it is interesting enough in itself. There are ten separate filings trademarking Wii, explicitly covering just about anything game-related you can think of, and quite a lot besides. For example, “umbrellas and their parts” and “processed grain food”.

Evory Technologies of Philadelphia have a trademark for Wii as well, with a lot of game applications listed. But having been made three days after Nintendo’s registrations, it’s presumably as much use to the company as a PlayStation 3 pre-order allocation is to a UK retailer. Satire, there.

Wii Sports and Wii Play are both registered too, with a curious four entries for Wii Play. Nintendo evidently thought it was worth covering Wii Play for clothing from bandanas to wrist bands. Wii Fit was trademarked at the same time. Has that been used? Maybe it’s in Wii Sports somewhere.

See, that was fun, wasn’t it? Not as relevant as a load of potential Grand Theft Auto subtitles – one of the USPTO’s finest hauls some years back – but a lot of fun nonetheless.


Jake has been here since the beginning, with hundreds of reviews and countless other guff to his name. These days, not so consistent.

Post navigation


Comments are closed.