Microsoft‘s request to renew the trademark for Killer Instinct has been denied by The United States Trademark and Patent Office. The reason cited?
Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark in U.S. Registration No. 3370331. Trademark Act Section 2(d), 15 U.S.C. §1052(d); see TMEP §§1207.01 et seq. See the enclosed registration.
Applicant's mark is KILLER INSTINCT for "video game software" and "entertainment services, namely, providing online video games." Registrant's mark is KILLER INSTINCT for "entertainment services in the nature of a television series featuring drama."
Basically, Trademark 3370331 belongs to some old Fox Television show called Killer Instinct from around seven years ago, according to some detective work that Polygon did.
Earlier this year, MS announced how the trademark was being revived, which immediately led to speculation as to whether the original was going to re-released on XBLA or if a new game in the series was going to be developed.
How this recent development will affect plans (which, admittedly, has yet to materialize) remains to be seen.