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Sega loses Shenmue trademark after failing to use it – report

Wednesday, 19th February 2014 09:29 GMT By Dave Cook

Sega appears to have lost its trademark rights to Shenmue after a prolonged period of inactivity.

The Shenmue USPTO page reads, “Registration cancelled because registrant did not file an acceptable declaration under Section 8. To view all documents in this file, click on the Trademark Document Retrieval link at the top of this page.”

DualShockers adds that Section 8 of the Trademark Act applies to “continued use” and “excusable nonuse” of registered marks, giving trademark holders a window to prove that it is either still using the mark in question or has a good excuse for not using it.

This must be provided between the fifth and sixth years of the trademark’s life, and again during the ninth and tenth, but it appears that the Shenmue trademark – which was filed in 2002 – was not protected the second time.

It could mean that Sega has not provided enough evidence to show that it is still using the Shenmue trademark to warrant ownership, either that or it’s done with the series entirely. We’re still trying to get our heads around this one, and have contacted Sega for comment.

What do you think?

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10 Comments

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  1. Dragon

    You know, what I really am apprehensive about is that now some patent troll can easily trademark this, and then publish crap Shenmue games.
    Given how patent policies work in US, I wont be surprised if someone is already en route to do just that.

    On another note, this can allow a kickstarter (hopefully by a group of people with good pedigree) to take a copyright and a better use of it than Sega.

    #1 2 months ago
  2. YoungZer0

    I remember reading a rumor that a PC Port was already done years ago and was just sitting on the shelf.

    #2 2 months ago
  3. Citrus raptor

    @Dragon

    Making Shenmue into a smaller game and using Kickstarter to fund it would most likely be the worst decision. Shenmue is extensive, and so far very, very few KS games have that quality. The risk of the game being made (the bare minimum) just to be made, is far to big.

    #3 2 months ago
  4. Dragon

    @Citrus raptor,
    Just some hypothesis. Not saying they will happen. Just saying they can.
    Although as you said, Open world games like that need big budgets, bigger than what Kickstarters earn right now.

    #4 2 months ago
  5. Citrus raptor

    @Dragon

    I would be so happy if some of the large KS games were successful and shared their development process with other KS teams. That would be a broad step towards me believing in the concept. Maybe in a couple of years it’s reliable for games such as Shenmue.

    #5 2 months ago
  6. dreamcastnews

    One would hope that somebody would aquire the trademark and finish the trilogy on the Dreamcast using assets from the first two games…. Improbable not impossible.

    #6 2 months ago
  7. fu11meta1

    I feel like I’ve missed out because I’ve never played Shenmue, but hopefully someone will pick it up and treat the name well

    #7 2 months ago
  8. the Bridgeburner

    Get ready for…

    Shenmue Crush Saga!!

    #8 2 months ago
  9. SinfulKnight

    Fine, I’ll make my own Shenmue with Lucky Hit and Sailors!!!

    #9 2 months ago
  10. fearmonkey

    I had a Dreamcast when Shenmue came out and played the game right after release and it just didnt grab me. it was a neat game for its time, but I think some remember it with rose colored glasses. I’t wasnt bad but it wasnt as amazing as everyone seems to make it out to be. It was a pretty and very ambitious title at the time though.

    #10 2 months ago