Sony Loses Vita Trademark in the European Union

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An EU court has officially revoked the “Vita” trademark in the EU, allowing other companies to use the term for their products. Sony lost the trademarked term due to non-use. The term “Vita” can now be used for “data carrier devices containing programs” as well as images and/or audio.

As noted by legal blog Kluwer Trademark Blog last month, the EU General Court revoked the trademark after Vieta Audio applied to have it removed back in 2011. The company argued that the “Vita” trademark did not apply to “data carriers containing programs,” as the PS Vita was a handheld gaming device.

Sony backed their trademark with evidence. In addition to the ability to play video games, the company claimed, the PS Vita could also access the internet as well as store images and audio. Unfortunately for Sony, that proof wasn’t enough for the Board of Appeals. The General court threw out the proof last month and decided to revoke the trademark.

According to the court, the main reason was that the PS Vita’s functions as a data carrier and ability to store images and audio were secondary to its main purpose: playing video games. Furthermore, the court also argued that the PS Vita’s ability to carry data and store images and audio was not central to its marketing.

The revoked trademark is another nail in the coffin for the handheld console, which received its last games this past summer. Earlier last month, Sony also removed the ability to use credit cards and PayPal on the PS3 and PS Vita stores. Production for the handheld officially ended back in 2019. And while the PS Vita store is still open along with a few PSP games, Sony has already stated that it is no longer looking to stay in the handheld console market. Despite the calls from dedicated fans for a PS Vita 2 of some kind, it looks like Sony’s PlayStation focus will be on the console market.


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