Sony has lost its trademark for the PlayStation Vita console in Europe. The European Union General Court has partially revoked Sony’s trademark for the PlayStation Vita because it hasn’t been used by the company. This feels like the final nail in the coffin for the device which could never quite reach the height of similar devices such as the Nintendo 3DS or more recently, the Nintendo Switch.
This handheld video game console was ahead of its time in many ways, being exceedingly popular in Japan where handheld devices dominate the game console market. However, it never had similar success internationally, mostly due to its high price and the odd memory cards that consumers had to exclusively buy from Sony. Mistakes were made with the PlayStation Vita and the result caused Sony to abandon the device altogether in 2019.
Sony originally trademarked the Vita’s name to encompass a variety of products, the main one, of course, being the game console. The trademark also included “data carriers containing programs” and “audio and/or image carriers (not of paper).” It is these products that the name is now being let out to. The EU General Court has decreed that the name can be revoked from these types of devices due to lack of use.
Sony did make a play to retain the trademark, providing evidence that the Vita name was still in use. However, their appeal was ultimately rejected by the Cancellation Division and the Board of Appeal. The General Court was also in agreement on the final decision. The rejection was due to the fact that although the PS Vita has a “data carrier carrying program” and is an “audio and/or images carrier”, these are not the device’s primary functions. After all, the PlayStation Vita is first and foremost a video game-playing machine.
This was a bit of a blow to PS Vita enthusiasts alike but it’s not a surprising one. The device was officially discontinued in 2019 with Sony subsequently shutting down its digital store this year. Do you think Sony is done with handheld consoles?