Skate 4 looked like another dashed hope for fans after EA failed to continue pursuing trademark filings for the skating game franchise earlier this year. However the company still has active and renewed trademarks on the game series.
In February 2018 hopes were raised that the realistic skate sim could see a fourth instalment after a long hiatus when EA re-filed ownership documents of the Skate name and trademark at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
However today GamesRadar has noticed that this registration process was abandoned in August this year, as EA failed to respond to correspondence related to the trademark. Under the trademark status database at tracking company Justia, the latest status on August 30 for EA's most recent renewal filing is listed as "602 - Abandoned - Failure to Respond or Late Response".
That seems like an abandonment, but two previous filings by EA's managing counsel Vineeta Gajwani show the trademark granted for the game series in 2009, between the release of Skate 2 and Skate 3, was renewed by EA in June this year.
The latest activity, on June 24 2019, in the trademark case of this particular Skate filing states: "REGISTERED AND RENEWED (FIRST RENEWAL - 10 YRS)" and "NOTICE OF ACCEPTANCE OF SEC. 8 & 9 - E-MAILED".
Sections 8 and 9 refer to forms filled in for maintaining a registered trademark. Section 9 in particular refers to "declaration of excusable use and non-use" of a trademark in continued commerce. Forms filled in before the sixth and tenth anniversary of a trademark's registration will grant extensions to the protections of a trademark, in this case EA will retain the Skate trademark for another 10 year period.
Whether or not this was to continue selling Skate and its sequels on digital storefronts like Origin or Steam, or to prepare for another instalment in the series is impossible to say as this is simply a maintenance filing at a mandated interval to retain their ownership.
The new filing from February last year is more than likely a redundancy, and when it was abandoned by non-correspondence in August of this year it was due to the original filing being successfully renewed months earlier. Why continue with your backup when your original plan worked?
Right, so as long as that legal journey wasn't too boring, here's the outcome: no, EA hasn't abandoned the Skate trademark. No, that doesn't mean that Skate 4 is coming out next year. Sorry, it's not all fun, games and drama.