People in California who like video games and who follow YouTube may be familiar with the phrase ‘Let’s Play.” This is the term used in the titles of enormously popular YouTube videos that feature recordings of video games with commentary by the players. Recently, Sony attempted to trademark ‘Let’s Play” but had its trademark application rejected.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected Sony’s application for a trademark of ‘Let’s Play” because it was too similar to a trademark that already exists. According to the USPTO, ‘Let’s Play” could easily be confused with a mark filed in 2013 by a company called ‘Let’z Play of America”.
Despite the similarity between ‘Let’s Play” and ‘Let’z Play of America,” some argue that Sony’s trademark was rejected for the wrong reason. People who are familiar with ‘Let’s Play” video game play-through videos on YouTube say that a trademark of the phrase would be very difficult to enforce. Not only is the phrase very generic, it is used in the titles of countless YouTube videos. It is unclear why Sony wanted a trademark of ‘Let’s Play” or how the company was planning to enforce the trademark if it had been approved.
A business owner that wants to have some company phrases or symbols trademarked may want to speak to an attorney who has intellectual property experience. Legal counsel can help determine which of desired trademarks are likely to be approved and which may be rejected. If a trademark application is rejected, an attorney can often be of assistance in appealling the decision.