Sony Filed to Trademark “Let’s Play”

In the biggest trademark news since the debate over who owns “Happy Birthday,” it appears Sony Computer Entertainment of America is in the works to trademark the wildly popular internet / gaming term “Let’s Play.”

A trademark application filed back in October was recently dug up by NeoGAF user Seraphis Cain, and suggests that the makers of PlayStation want to own the term when it refers to the, “Electronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks.”

Perhaps what’s most strange about the description Sony gives is that it doesn’t really match with our understanding of Let’s Plays as we would typically find them on sites like YouTube. In fact, the “transmission and streaming of video games” is more plainly in line with the live streams and gaming broadcasts seen on websites like Twitch.


So what does this mean for you or your favourite Let’s Player? Well, probably not much. Don’t worry – Sony isn’t planning on stopping you or your favourite content creators from posting videos of them playing games (probably). This trademark is more likely an effort for Sony to add the term “Let’s Play” to the PS4’s official gameplay streaming vernacular, and to prevent competitors like Xbox and Nintendo from using the term, too.

It’s also entirely possible the trademark won’t come to fruition. Cain updated his original NeoGAF thread to point out that Sony received a “non-final action” response to the trademark application, something that only gets sent out when there’s a problem with the request. Sony will still have six months to respond to and contest the non-final action, however.

But what do you think? Can a company really take ownership over such a widely used term? Will it really affect your YouTube videos? Will we ever get a Dualshock 4 with a longer-lasting battery? Let us know what you think!


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