News Trademarks Video Games

Activision Publishing reapplies for ‘Sing Hero’ trademark with the USPTO

Sing Hero

Hinting that a possible karaoke title is on the horizon, Activision Publishing has reapplied for its trademark on ‘Sing Hero’, a trademark it first filed back in 2009.

Unlike the old trademark, the new trademark (Serial Number: 85740335) covers computer game software for use on, “mobile and cellular phones, personal digital assistants, electronic organizers and electronic notepads, handheld computers, and portable and handheld digital electronic devices”.

The revived trademark comes at a time when popular singing shows like X Factor and The Voice compete for viewers.  NBC’s The Sing-Off was cancelled earlier this year after three seasons.

Activision has not said anything official about Sing Hero.

The company’s trademarks on Keyboard Hero and Drum Hero were declared “Dead” in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

A quick search across major domain names shows that only the .com and .net have been registered at the time of this story.  Whereas domains for its once popular Guitar Hero title are all taken from to  Neither the .com nor the .net appear to be registered by Activision.

The Facebook and Twitter vanity URLs are also taken, but appear unrelated and have little or no information.

Talking about this story:  Gameranx and NowGamer

(Image of France MW3 launch via

News Trademarks Video Games

Microsoft files trademark for “Avatar Motocross Madness” game [UPDATED]

Avatar Motocross Madness

Microsoft Corporation filed a trademark application on April 5, 2012, for “Avatar Motocross Madness” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The goods and services in the trademark filing (Serial Number: 85590644) cover “Game software” and “Providing a website featuring information in the field of games and home entertainment; entertainment services, namely, providing online video games”.

Motocross Madness was first released by Microsoft Games back in 1998 for the PC, followed by a sequel in 2000.

Based on the title, “Avatar Motocross Madness”, it sounds like Microsoft may be releasing Motocross Madness on the Xbox 360 and allow you to create and use your own avatar in the game with the Kinect.

As of today, Microsoft has made no announcement regarding “Avatar Motocross Madness”.

UPDATE: As MCV reports, “Two screenshots posted to PlayXBLA have been released in effort to tease the new title ahead of its reveal during Microsoft’s E3 press conference.”

Talking about this story: Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine, Shack News,, VG247, GameZone,,,, VG Nett, and N4g

(Image of Motocross Madness via

News Trademarks

Microsoft files trademark for “People Powered Stories”, more Google bashing?

People Powered Stories

Since Google announced changes to its privacy policies, it has come under an onslaught of criticism from all directions including rivals. 

Microsoft has already taken aim at Google with its “Putting People First” advertising campaign and a YouTube video called “Gmail Man”.

Now it looks like Microsoft may have something more in store for Google in the coming days, something that is powered by everyday people.

On January 31, 2012, Microsoft Corporation filed a trademark application (Serial Number: 85530034) for “People Powered Stories”.  And as the phrase and trademark description suggest, Microsoft may launch an advertising campaign that is supplied by user-generated content.

The goods and services covered by the trademark filing cover two categories:

Advertising and marketing services; Advertising consultation; Providing information in the field of advertising

Providing online, non-downloadable software and tools for creating advertisements that include user-generated feedback and content

As of today, Microsoft has made no announcement as to its plans for “People Powered Stories” and no website exists.

One thing also to note with the filing is there no first-use date reported, indicating that Microsoft has not started using the mark.

[Update 2 on Feb. 14, 2012:.  Microsoft officially announced People Powered Stories, a new social advertising solution.]

[Update 1 on Feb. 5, 2012:.  A resident of China registered the domain name (Whois) shortly after this story ran.]

Discussion:  The Next Web, Simply Zesty, Marketing Land and


Instead of filing a legal dispute, Tumblr buys the domain name

Not all domain name registrations that infringe on a popular trademark end in legal dispute…some end in a pay day for the owner.  

That’s what happened with the domain name this week.

On December 14, switched owners from Kevin Marsh of Ohio to the tenth largest social network in the world: Tumblr.

What’s interesting about, is that it hosted Marsh’s Tumblr blog – Willcodeforfoo (screenshot).

I reached out to Marsh by email for some information on the exchange and to see if Tumblr had sent a cease-and-desist letter.  I was surprised to learn, that not only was Tumblr not looking to pick a legal fight, but that “They [Tumblr Inc] were really great throughout the process”, according to Marsh.

Due to a non disclosure agreement, Marsh wasn’t able to share many details about the transaction.

What he did tell me about the price tag, was that the sale amount ended in a “0”.

While most professional domainers would never recommend registering a domain that infringes on a trademark, sometimes offering cash for a domain can be quicker and cheaper for big companies trying to obtain that domain. 

For the record, Tumblr Inc. does own the trademark on ‘Tumblr’. 

The company, which has only submitted one trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to date, filed the application (Serial Number: 77601575) back in 2008, a year after the company was founded. was first registered in June 2006 by the company’s founder David Karp. was registered a month later in July by Marsh, according to WHOIS history records furnished by DomainTools.

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Samsung files trademark for ‘Samsung Galaxy Sleek’ smart phones and tablets

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

With the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Nexus rumored to be released on December 8 in the United States on Verizon, it appears Samsung is already planning its next device called the ‘Samsung Galaxy Sleek’.

On November 23, Samsung filed a trademark application (Serial Number: 85480030) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the ‘Samsung Galaxy Sleek’. 

The goods and services covered in the trademark application cover:  Telephones, smart phones, mobile phones and tablet computers.

Samsung often uses the word ‘sleek’ to help describe its smooth and polished smartphones and tablets. 

So far Samsung has not made any announcement about the Galaxy Sleek.

Discussion:  The Next Web, Phandroid, SlashGearAndroidAppTests, Geeky Gadgets, The Tech Report, LLC,,, DroidDog, Android Community, Technabob, Le Journal du Geek and VR-Zone

(Photo of Galaxy Nexus at its announcement event in Soho, Hong Kong via Flickr)