XBOX TRADE-MARK SECRECY


Microsoft is scheduled to unveil its new logo for the XBOX 360 on May 13. There is already plenty of speculation about what the logo will look like. For example, check out the coverage here  http://www.shorl.com/dejypubrugrastu

This story is interesting from a trade-marks law perspective. To protect the mark nationally (in the US, Canada, or elsewhere), Microsoft must file an application to register the mark. The sooner Microsoft does this, the less chance someone else will file a similar application first.

We conducted a brief search of the Canadian and US Trade-marks Offices but didn't find any application for the new logo. Maybe Microsoft used a subsidiary to file the application so it would be harder to find. Or maybe Microsoft was able to convince the USPTO to keep the application confidential for now. 

Or maybe Microsoft is just taking its chances and hoping nobody will try to file a registration first. This wouldn't be completely unreasonable because Microsoft has already protected the 'XBOX"? word mark, and Microsoft probably owns the copyright in the new logo too. So even if someone managed to file a trade-mark application first, there's probably little chance that he or she could actually exploit the application. And, of course, they're Microsoft"? right?

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