Sony tries and fails to copyright “Let’s Play”
I’m both relieved and honestly a little pissed too over something Sony has pulled recently. The company had submitted a copyright patent on the words “Let’s Play” with the US Patent Office. Now quite unsurprisingly, Sony’s cockamamie patent submission didn’t go through, but once you hear the reasons for why it didn’t, you’ll likely lose a little bit of faith in humanity.
The Patent office has stated that Let’s Play was too close to the name of a pre-existing Georgia company Let’z Play of America which is why it rejected Sony’s patent proposal.
So indeed, Sony’s claim was not shot down because Let’s Play is a word combination used by practically everyone and should technically be outside the realm of copyright due to its generalised status as a set-phrase but due to a legal technicality. Lest you think I’m being generous with the power of that phrase, Atari tried to copyright the term “video-game” a long time ago. Regardless, the repercussions of this move will probably be very minor. Even if Sony’s proposal had gone through, it would have been next to impossible for them to monitor their copyright, which makes the whole issue even more non-sensical.
I guess the bottom-line with this case is that there are no winners.