UPDATE: According to a statement received by Game Informer’s Jim Reilly, Sony has said the following on the trademark lapse, “The project is still in development. Nothing new to report at this time.”
According to a report out of trademark tracking site Trademarkia, the status of Sony Computer Entertainment’s registered copyright on the phrase “The Last Guardian” has been updated to ABANDONED – NO STATEMENT OF USE FILED as of August 6th. Initial impressions seemed to indicate that the lapse in trademark filing meant a cancellation of the game, but some cursory research into United States copyright law by the likes of Superannuation shows that it might not be that simple.
The trademark issued in this case requires a commercial product bearing the registered phrase within three years of its initial filing. Having been filed in January 2010 and with little likelihood of a January 2013 release date, it’s plausible Sony has just chosen to let the existing trademark lapse and re-file. According to the Notice of Abandonment sent to Sony following the trademark update, the corporation has a two-month window to do exactly that. Sony has made no comment on the trademark at the time of publication.