Nintendo Balances the Scales of Their Trademarks by pursuing “PokéToon” and Letting go of “Eternal Darkness”

Attribution @JerameyJannene

Nintendo has recently filed another Japanese trademark application for the mark “PokéToon.” The news of the trademark application was originally reported by Japanese Nintendo. The mark was originally filed with the Japan Patent Office on May 27, 2020, but was officially published in Japan on June 16, 2020.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, ‘PokéToon’ is the name of a 4-minute anime short that was recently released on the official ‘Pokémon Kids TV’ YouTube channel. The western-style animation is commonly referred to as capturing the spirit of the classic Looney Tunes cartoons.

The pursuit of a Japanese trademark for PokéToon raises the question of whether Nintendo plans on releasing more animated shorts under this brand, as well as what other types of merchandise might arise in the future featuring PokéToons. According to a report by NintendoLife, the trademark application listed about 311different goods and services, including toys, video games, entertainment, online broadcasting, textiles, sewing goods, clothing, and other goods and merchandise.

In other Nintendo trademark news, it has been recently reported that Nintendo has abandoned one of its U.S. trademarks. In late December 2016, Nintendo filed a U.S. trademark application for “ETERNAL DARKNESS” (see U.S. Serial No. 87274495). The mark was designated as abandoned on June 15, 2020. Based on the trademark’s application history, it would appear that Nintendo used the maximum amount of ‘requests for an extension of time to file a statement of use’ (you can file a maximum of five ‘requests for an extension of time to file a statement of use’), and failed to show that the mark was used in commerce before their time ran out, and therefore, as specified in the trademark application, the mark was abandoned “because no Statement of Use or Extension Request [was] timely filed after [the] Notice of Allowance was issued.”

To give a bit of background on the issue of extension requests, according to the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s (USPTO) website:

“If you are not yet using the trademark in commerce on all the goods and/or services listed in the NOA [Notice of Allowance], you must timely file an extension request and pay the required fees to avoid your application abandoning. Because each granted extension request lasts only six months, you must continue to file extension requests every six months, during an unexpired extension period. You can file a total of five extension requests. You must file the first request within six months of the NOA date and you must file all subsequent requests before the expiration of a previously granted extension.”

Eternal Darkness is a psychological horror action-adventure video game that was originally released for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2002.

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