The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has canceled the trademark for Sega's Shenmue game, according to an entry on its web site. The USPTO lists the registration for the game trademark as cancelled "because registrant did not file an acceptable declaration under Section 8." Section 8 requires that the trademark holder must maintain and renew an "existing registration to ensure that the registration remains live."
Sega has not publicly commented on this story. The last Shenmue game, Shenmue 2, was released in 2001.
In November 2013 an application for a Shenmue 3 trademark was filed to the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM), but Sega later confirmed that it was a fake and said at the time that it was "looking into the origins" of the application. The OHIM is the European Union counterpart to the USPTO.
We will have more on this story as it develops.