Killer Instinct Trademark Dispute Settled

According to documents posted on NeoGAF, Fox and Microsoft have finally come to terms over the dispute regarding the Killer Instinct license.

Back in September of last year, Microsoft announced on PlayXBLA that they’ve renewed the trademark to Killer Instinct, the 1994 arcade fighting game by Rare made popular on the Super Nintendo. With Microsoft proudly displaying their supposed renewal of Killer Instinct, it seemed like a new installment or a digital port of the cult fighter was underway. The news was especially surprising since a former Rare developer talked about Microsoft’s refusal to greenlight a Killer Instinct 3 in an interview on Not Enough Shaders a month before.

However, Microsoft’s renewal of the Killer Instinct license halted when it was discovered that another property with the same name existed. Believing people will confuse the 3D CGI rendered fighter with the short-lived TV drama by Fox, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected Microsoft’s Killer Instinct renewal. Here are the USPTO’s exact words:

“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.”

Now, it seems Fox and Microsoft have come to an agreement over the Killer Instinct license, evidence by the documents posted at the end of this article. With the trademark dispute now settled, Microsoft can finally move forward with their plans for the Killer Instinct franchise, whatever they might be. Suggested by Pixel Enemy, the “jaw-dropping” Kinect project ad listing by Rare could be connected to a new Killer Instinct game. However, a high definition Killer Instinct port for Xbox Live Arcade is more likely, given past Rare titles being ported there like Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, and Perfect Dark.

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