HTC has just filed for trademark protection on the term “HTC Play,” and based on the description as well as other filings, it seems like the Taiwanese OEM is planning an online market for downloading video games. The application seeks protection against similar services on “computers, mobile phones, tablets, and mobile devices.” Specifically, it seems like HTC is looking to cover both goods and services here: the market itself, as well as devices for “downloading, uploading, purchasing, programming, transmitting, receiving, editing, extracting, encoding, decoding, using, viewing, accessing, searching for, sharing, storing and organizing computer and video games and content related thereto.”
Despite the hardware references, we suspect that Play will end up referring simply to an online portal. First of all, it seems to fit nicely with other commerce-oriented trademarks HTC has applied for: HTC Read, HTC Listen, and HTC Watch (its new movie store). But more importantly, HTC would probably be stepping on Sony Ericsson’s toes by branding a handset as Play; coincidentally enough, that joint venture saw its Xperia Play trademark application pass through the USPTO on the exact same day as HTC Play. It sounds to us like HTC is looking to get big into downloadable content in the next year, perhaps even eventually deploying an entire app store of its own.