Microsoft has failed in a bid to renew the trademark for Killer Instinct.
The Killer Instinct IP debuted in 1995 when Midway debuted Rare’s fighter in the arcades. It was later ported to the SNES and Game Boy. A sequel followed in 1996.
Rumours of a resurrection of the franchise have been rife ever since Microsoft acquired Rare in 2002 and were finally confirmed in September when the platform holder admitted that it had “either renewed or refiled a trademark application in various jurisdictions”.
However, Polygon reports that The United States Trademark and Patent Office owing to "a likelihood of confusion".
The application reads: “Applicant's mark is Killer Instinct for ‘video game software’ and ‘entertainment services, namely, providing online video games’. Registrant's mark is Killer Instinct for ‘entertainment services in the nature of a television series featuring drama’.”
Microsoft has six months to respond "to avoid abandonment of applicant's trademark application".
It is speculated that the complicating factor may be a 2005 Fox TV show of the same name.