Sorry fighting game fans, but it seems that Killer Instinct won't be making its return, at least in the near future. In an unexpected twist, Microsoft's request to renew its trademark for the Rare-developed fighting game series has been denied by the United States Trademark and Patent Office (via CVG).
The official USPTO rejection notice spells out the reason why, stating that there's "a likelihood of confusion" between Microsoft's Killer Instinct and a Fox trademark for a Killer Instinct TV series, which ran for 13 episodes back in 2005. Microsoft is permitted to appeal the decision, and probably will given that the game predates the TV series. Also because there's little risk of consumers confusing a short-lived crime drama with a sci-fi-infused fighting game that features a wolfman and a genetically engineered velociraptor.