Sony has lost some rights to the PlayStation Vita trademark due to lack of use. The EU General Court has ruled that the name can now be used for “data carriers containing programmes” and “audio and/or image carriers”.
According to GIBiz, Sony will retain rights to the Vita name when it comes to the console’s primary purpose, playing video games. However, the console manufacturer will lose the rights to the trademark when it comes to the PlayStation Vita’s secondary functions, such as playing films and accessing the internet.
Sony discontinued hardware production for its portable console back in 2019 after being on the market for eight years. This year also marks the end of software distribution on the platform, as the digital store has ceased accepting new games, and the final physical releases are set to come out before the end of 2021.
The decision came following a challenge to the trademark by Spanish headphone and speaker manufacturer Vieta Audio. The opposition was initially declined. However last month, as the PlayStation Vita reaches the end of its life cycle, the Cancellation Division and Board of Appeal rejected evidence put forward by Sony that the trademark was still in use for these secondary purposes.
London law firm Wiggin noted that the new ruling should “serve as a reminder” noting that as the trademark is “not used in commerce, [it] may be later open to challenge for non-use.” It is likely that the trademark will continue to remain in effect for items pertaining to the gaming industry.
In other news, an investigation is currently underway over a potential Twitch money-laundering ring. The alleged scheme involves 2,000 streamers and has made roughly $7,3million to date.