Nintendo has filed a request with the federal Patent and Trademark Office to protect the expression “It’s on like Donkey Kong” — all shamelessly in the name of marketing its upcoming Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns.
(Wouldn’t a better name for the game have been Return to Donkey Kong Country? But what do I know.)
The company explains:
For those unfamiliar with the term, “It’s on like Donkey Kong” is an old, popular Nintendo phrase that has a number of possible interpretations depending on how it’s used. In addition to Nintendo’s use, it has been used in popular music, television and film over the years, pointing to Donkey Kong’s status as an enduring pop-culture icon and video game superstar.
Donkey Kong is one of the oldest and most recognizable video game characters. He has been a pop-culture icon since the launch of his 1981 self-titled arcade game. Donkey Kong again rose to prominence in the 1994 Super NES game Donkey Kong Country. His new game, Donkey Kong Country Returns, marks his triumphant return in a new side-scrolling adventure with new challenges amid a beautiful setting. The game features the first simultaneous cooperative game-play mode for the series, with one player controlling Donkey Kong and the other controlling his agile pal, Diddy Kong.
On Nov. 21, It’s on like Donkey Kong!