Companies don't often announce when they've renewed trademarks, but that's exactly what Microsoft did concerning Killer Instinct. Earlier today, this post was found on the publisher's PlayXBLA site:
With all due respect to our friends in the media who like to frequent trademark sites, we thought we’d break this one ourselves. :)
Our legal eagles have authorized us to say: “We have either renewed or refiled a trademark application in various jurisdictions."
The trademark renewal wouldn't really be much news on its own, but Microsoft's announcement is what makes it so significant. Guess as far as rumors go, their intent to bring Killer Instinct back in some capacity is pretty likely.
We've certainly grown used to seeing retro titles make triumphant returns through digital platforms across PC and consoles, and XBLA provides the perfect avenue for pushing Killer Instinct back into the spotlight. That said, we're still not sure at this point whether this move will lead to a re-release, HD remake, or some else entirely.
The classic fighter was once a Nintendo title, developed by RARE for SNES and later N64. Back in 2002, RARE was acquired by Microsoft.