Trademark Musings

Thoughts on trademark issues by Laura Winston

Stephen Colbert Talks About IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG

Check out this video from the brother of Washington DC intellectual property attorney Edward T. Colbert.  In it, the leader of the Colbert Nation pokes fun at Nintendo for filing an application to register the trademark IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG, which apparently entered the lexicon at least as early as 1992 (I’m not linking to the source, the Urban Dictionary, because there is an offensive term in the U.D. entry).

I’ve mused before  about people or business claiming trademark rights in nicknames coined by third parties.  Here, Nintendo filed its application and issued a press release about it, noting that it is about to release a new Wii game called Donkey Kong Country Returns.  In the press release, Nintendo states that IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG is “an old, popular Nintendo phrase”.  It may be old, but I question whether it’s popular and I doubt it started out as a Nintendo phrase.

I think Nintendo will get the registration as long as they put it on the packaging for the games.  But maybe that wasn’t even their goal – considering they issued a press release about their trademark filing, which was picked up by CNN, Colbert and others, it could just have been a stunt to generate publicity about their exciting new Donkey Kong game.

November 17, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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