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Microsoft files for Battletoads trademark

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Microsoft may be working on something related to the beloved Battletoads franchise — the company filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week, and now holds the Battletoads trademark.

The trademark application, which was discovered this afternoon by a user on NeoGAF, was filed Nov. 5. Microsoft's trademark for Battletoads applies to "game software" and "entertainment services, namely, providing online video games."

Reached for comment, a representative for Microsoft provided Polygon with the following statement: "Microsoft often acquires various trademarks as part of its ongoing business strategy, but beyond that we have no comment."

The Battletoads series kicked off in 1991 on the Nintendo Entertainment System with the original Battletoads, which was developed by Rare and published by the now-defunct Tradewest. The brutally difficult platformer spawned three follow-ups: a Super Nintendo game in 1993 called Battletoads in Battlemaniacs, an NES crossover in 1993 called Battletoads & Double Dragon and an arcade game in 1994 called Battletoads (also known as Super Battletoads).

All four titles in the franchise were developed by Rare, the British studio that Microsoft acquired in 2002. Prior to Microsoft's new trademark filing, Rare had held the Battletoads trademark from 1990 to 2002. Earlier this year, Rare released Battletoads-themed downloadable content for Kinect Sports Rivals. Microsoft rebooted a different Rare franchise for Xbox One last year with the launch title Killer Instinct, whose second season launched on Oct. 15.