Nintendo Files for Trademark on the NES Controller Design

Nintendo is known for protecting their intellectual property (IP) all the time, but did you know it can easily extend to the patents of their controls and hardware? Evidently not, as Nintendo of America has been found to have submitted a trademark on the NES controller. Yes, the one from 1985.

Filed back in March this year, the trademark protects the design of the iconic controller, with the legal document referencing:

The color(s) red, black and gray is/are claimed as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of a black rectangle. The left side of the rectangle features a black cross outlined in gray and containing four gray outlined arrows and one circle in the center. In the center of the rectangle there are five gray rounded rectangles, one of which contains the words “SELECT” and “START” in red text and another which contains an outline of a rectangle which contains two black oval designs. The right side contains the word “Nintendo” in red text, below which are two gray squares with red circles within the square. Below these squares are the letters “B” and “A” in red text.

Why Nintendo decided to go out of their way to protect the likeness of the NES controller now is unclear. While the D-Pad seen on the NES saw its patent expire years ago, this is the first time on record that the company has placed protection on the design of their controllers. Perhaps it has to do with third party products sold with the NES controller’s likeness, like this:

Or especially this:

This could all be Nintendo rightfully protecting their creation into the future, and not an indication of a classic controller in the works (as we saw with the Super Famicom Classic Controller in Japan).

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.