Microsoft and Fox Come to Agreement Over Killer Instinct Trademark

After being denied the "Killer Instinct" name in December, Microsoft now shares the trademark with Fox.

by on 5th Apr, 2013

As reported in December, it was discovered by NeoGAF user Rösti that Microsoft had attempted to renew the trademark for Rareware’s 1994 arcade fighter Killer Instinct, but had failed to do so. Fox Television Studios owned the trademark for “Killer Instinct”, as it was a short-lived crime drama television series that had aired in 2005.

Thus, upon encountering KILLER INSTINCT for “video game software” and “entertainment services, namely, providing online video games” and KILLER INSTINCT for “entertainment services in the nature of a television series featuring drama, “consumers are likely to be confused and mistakenly believe that the respective goods and services emanate from a common source.

Considering that there is an increasing amount of video games made that are tied to television series and movies, it was found that it would be likely that consumers would be confused over the name.

Rösti has recently discovered that Fox Television Studios Inc. and Microsoft have managed to come to terms over the trademark.

The Applicant has entered into a Coexistence Agreement with the Owner of the cited application, a copy of which is submitted herewith. As shown in the attached Coexistence Agreement, the Owner of the cited application consents to registration of the subject application.

A Trademark Coexistence Agreement is a document used by two companies that allow one another to brand their products under similar names. Fox’s Killer Instinct has been off the air for nearly a decade, so there seemingly wasn’t much reason for them to continue to fight against Microsoft’s request. Could this mean that Microsoft is planning a revival of the fighting game series? Or could a port be on the way?

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