Sony Computer Entertainment America filed a patent application last week at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure the name of its most elusive game, The Last Guardian.
"The literal element of the mark consists of THE LAST GUARDIAN," the application filed March 12, 2015 reads. "The mark consists of standard characters, without claim to any particular font, style, size, or color."
SCEA filed its application under the International Class 009 classification, which covers computer game software that the "applicant has a bona fide intention to use or use through the applicant's related company or licensee the mark in commerce on or in connection with the identified goods and/or services."
In February, another trademark for The Last Guardian expired at the USPTO, though Sony later said that the lapse was an error. Because of the "intent to use" nature of the trademark, Sony was required to check in periodically to reiterate its plans. Sony failed to do so, and the trademark lapsed. Not long after, Sony corrected its mistake by filing a petition to revive it.
Sony revealed The Last Guardian at E3 2009, when it was planned as a PlayStation 3 game. Heading development was Fumito Ueda, whose previous projects include Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. In the nearly six years since its debut trailer, Team Ico and Sony Japan Studio have been largely silent. Rumors of the game's cancellation appear regularly.
As recently as E3 2014, after another round of cancellation rumors, Shuhei Yoshida, the head of Sony's Worldwide Studios, told Polygon that The Last Guardian remained in development.
"I will say this," Yoshida said. "When we cancel a title, and it is something we have announced already, we'll say so."
Press play below to watch a trailer for The Last Guardian, which tells the story of an intensely lovable dragon/kitty/chicken thing and its little boy companion.