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?