Nintendo trying to trademark "It's on like Donkey Kong"

Todays dose of "huh?" comes from Nintendo, which has suddenly decided to file a request with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase "It's on like Donkey Kong." The phrase has been in the popular vernacular for several years, so why Nintendo would want to register it now is... oh wait, Donkey Kong Country Returns comes out this month. There you go.

Above: Could clever tees like this be on their way out??

Nintendo's official definition of "It's on like Donkey Kong"

“It’s on like Donkey Kong” is an old, popular Nintendo phrase that has a number of possible interpretations depending on how it’s used. In addition to Nintendo’s use, it has been used in popular music, television and film over the years, pointing to Donkey Kong’s status as an enduring pop-culture icon and video game superstar.”

And then for comparison's sake, Urban Dictionary:

“A phrase to denote that it's time to throw down or compete at a high level; something is about to go down. The use of the comical video game character Donkey Kong provides comic relief but the phrase itself has greater or more significance than simply its on. Many people incorrectly assume the phrase's origins are from various movies in which it is used but term was popularized by rapper Ice Cube when he used the phrase in the song "Now I gotta Wet'cha" off his Predator album in 1992. It is unknown at this time whether Ice Cube was the person that originally coined the phrase.”

Should Nintendo successfully register the trademark (which still must be approved), it could chase down anyone who uses the phrase for financial or personal gain - kind of like Paris Hilton with "That's Hot." But, is this really that important? Do you need to control every single aspect of your brand's existence? Do you really want the phrase to now be "It's on like Donkey KongTM?" Whaddya think?

Concerning games, DKCR releases on November 21st. I've had several hands-on sessions with the upcoming Wii game and I gotta say, it's pretty damn cool. Expect a full review near that release date!

November 10, 2010


Nintendo WTF


  • YoshiAteMyBaby - November 11, 2010 3:10 a.m.

    I knew a girl who flat out told her boyfriend they wouldn't be having sex one time because he uttered that phrase right before the sex.
  • batmanboy11 - November 10, 2010 9:04 p.m.

  • MYTRUEDADDY - November 10, 2010 8:56 p.m.

    nadrewod999 I dislike you for two reasons. one, you like to call out people for writing first before their comment when they are indeed, first to comment. It doesn't happen very often for people that only browse this site once a day, and if he wants to take joy in it let him. Second, you quoted a gamesradar article about nintendo. Only my dillusional grandpa liked that show and even he's moved on to better things. ON TOPIC I'm cool with nintendo owning that phrase, it's not like I was gonna open a restaurant with that name or anything.
  • 8bitBaby - November 10, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    i'll say it AGAIN until nintendo stops being stupid. NO. NO! bad nintendo. BAD! *smeks them on the nose with a newspaper*
  • Sy87 - November 10, 2010 8:03 p.m.

    That is the stupidest thing ever. Trademark phrases just steals them from good people. Now what people are going to be too afraid to say it like. Take the one episode on American Dad where Stan says your fired and Trump demands compensation for it. Its a phrase last I check other company never went and tried to patent awesome phrases that came about.
  • Redeater - November 10, 2010 8:01 p.m.

    ......and yet "PLAY IT LOUD!!!" still remains unpopular to this day.... What is this world coming to?
  • fallsogracefully - November 10, 2010 7:44 p.m.

    Well, if they have "Donkey Kong" trademarked, then I would assume "It's on like Donkey Kong" is still fare game for litigation whether the phrase itself is trademarked or not. So, I would guess they're just covering their bases.
  • Koouunn - November 10, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    i want that shirt!!!!!
  • nadrewod999 - November 10, 2010 7:23 p.m.

    Sharkbot, I intensely dislike you for two reasons. The first reason is because your profile pic is a clear forgery (THAT NEVER HAPPENED!). The second reason (and this is the most important) is because you said "First" on a list of comments. NO SOUP FOR YOU! Seinfeld FTW
  • CoryRX8 - November 10, 2010 7:21 p.m.

    Nintendo, I'd like you to meet my good friend "prior art". He'll be educating you on trademark law over the next couple of weeks, and explaining to you why you have no claim to this phrase.
  • elpurplemonkey - November 10, 2010 7:16 p.m.

    Guaranteed to be the weirdest headline I read today.
  • Cleanser247 - November 10, 2010 7:11 p.m.

    I'm going to go listen to aquatic ambience...
  • EnragedTortoise1 - November 10, 2010 7:09 p.m.

    lolwtf. There's gotta be some kind of law against stupidity like this.
  • Sharkbot - November 10, 2010 6:56 p.m.

    First. I wouldn't be surprised if those savages at nintendo would wanna rake in money by TMing the phrase

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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