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Half-Life 3 trademark filed in Europe

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A trademark application for Half-Life 3, possibly the next entry in Valve's excruciatingly dormant Half-Life franchise, has been filed in Europe, according to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, the European Union's trademark and designs registry.

The OHIM's database lists the Half-Life 3 trademark as owned by Valve Corporation, and filed on its behalf by Casalonga & Associés, a patent and trademark firm. The trademark covers "computer game software," "downloadable computer game software via a global computer network and wireless devices" and other goods and services. The application was filed on Sept. 29. There is no equivalent trademark on record at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

We've contacted Valve to verify the authenticity of the trademark and asked if it would like to confirm the existence of a new Half-Life game. We'll update with any new information.

Half-Life 2 was released in November 2004 after a protracted development cycle. The most recent entry in the series, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, was released Oct. 10, 2007. Speculation of a full sequel — instead of the long-awaited and previously announced Episode Three — has been frequent amidst concept art leaks, vague references from Valve employees (including Gabe Newell) and hints in other games released through Steam that were wrongly identified as part of a Half-Life alternate reality game.

The only officially confirmed future Half-Life development is a movie based on the property. Valve is working with Star Trek director JJ Abrams on the project.