On October 28 last year, Sony filed an application to trademark the term "Let's Play” at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In a months time, USPTO has released a document refusing to grant the trademark to Sony.
The phrase “Let's Play” appears to be too similar to the already trademarked 'LP Let's Play', used by Let'z Play of America, which operates a video games arcade in the city of Marietta, Georgia. The USPTO has voiced their denial on grounds of acute similarity of both the phrases which may further mislead or confuse the target consumers, comparable in terms of their names, sound and visual aspects as well as the services both the entities provide.
The USPTO document observes that, "the services are closely related," though it notes that the services "need not be identical or even competitive to find a likelihood of confusion."
Nevertheless, this does not mean the end for “Let’s Play”; Sony has 6 months time to respond counting from the date of this refusal. It will need to "explicitly address each refusal and/or requirement raised in this Office action," and can make another case defending the refusal and praying it to be withdrawn.
Sony's success in trademarking “Let’s Play” could possibly unleash great wrath from the gaming community since it serves a different purpose within their community. Sony has however, refrained from expressing their rationale behind this attempt stating "nothing further to share on the trademark in question."
In any event, let us keep an eye out for “Let’s Play” if Sony decides to move forward with its case of withdrawal.