Nintendo’s Virtual Console idea is one that made millions for the company during the era of the Wii. While Virtual Console lives on in the Wii U era, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who agreed that the service is better now on the Wii U than it was on the Wii. Many games have not even made it over to the Wii U version of Virtual Console yet, leaving many to wonder if the availability of these games is even a priority for Nintendo.
A recent finding at the USPTO website indicated that at least one of Nintendo’s trademarks for the service has expired. Interestingly enough, the trademark is on the world “VIRTUALCONSOLE” with no space between the two and upon reading what the patent applies to, it seems to be physical items, rather than the actual Virtual Console service as we know it. Among the listing for which this branding would be applicable are several physical items.
paper and cardboard, memo pads, gift wrapping papers, note books, note pads, scratch pads; industrial packaging containers of paper; embroidery design patterns printed on paper; paper towels; paper table cloths; paper table napkins; paper hand towels; paper banners; paper flags; paper handkerchiefs; paper baggage tags; trading cards; printed matter, namely, magazines, address books, children’s books, coloring and activity books, comic books, greeting cards, invitation cards, books, booklets and manuals regarding video games, newspaper cartoons, paper decorations mountable on doors, paperback books for children, picture storybooks, postcards, posters, score books, scrapbooks and stamp collector books, storybook and audio cassettes packaged as a unit, trading cards; paintings and calligraphic works; photographs; photograph stands; stationery; pastes and other adhesives for stationery or household purposes; drawing instruments; decorators’ paintbrushes
As you can see from this long list, these are all physical items, most likely considered for merchandising opportunities for Nintendo in the future. This is entirely speculation at this point, but it could be that Nintendo intended to release Virtual Console collections similar to the NES Remix physical editions. The expiration of this trademark means that won’t happen, but this won’t affect the Virtual Console service as it is now.
Either way, we’re hoping Nintendo does something better with the virtual console service in the future, even if it doesn’t mind letting trademarks like this one expire.