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