Lately, there has been a trend of members of the Magic rumor community happening upon trademarks registered by Wizards of the Coast with the United States Patent Office that appear to be the names of upcoming Magic products. Last fall, they registered the name Theros, which, of course, turned out to be the name of this year's fall set, and earlier this year they trademarked the name of the third set in Theros block, Journey into Nyx. Recently, they also trademarked Magic: the Gathering - Conspiracy, which seems to be a variant-format product.
Now, the discoverer of that latter trademark, MTGSalvation.com Rumor Mill veteran fnord, has found what seems to be a trademark for an upcoming expansion name: Warlords of Khanar.
In fnord's words:
On September 9, 2013, WoTC filed for a trademark for "Warlords of Khanar" in the following categories:
IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Interactive entertainment software, namely, video game programs; video game cartridges; multimedia computer game programs, computer game software, computer game cartridges, computer game discs, interactive video games of virtual reality comprised of computer hardware and software; downloadable software for use in playing computer games; computer game software for use with communication devices and mobile telephones; pre-recorded audio and video tapes featuring music; laser discs, video discs, phonograph records, compact discs, and pre-recorded cd-roms, all featuring games, films, and music; downloadable electronic publications in the nature of e-books in the field of fantasy adventures
IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Card games, trading card games, playing cards and accessories for use therewith; computer and video game apparatus, namely, video game machines for use with televisions
IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment services, namely, providing online computer games and interactive multiplayer online computer games via a global network; organizing and conducting online computer game tournaments and exhibitions in the field of games; providing industry information online via a global network, namely, online publications in the nature of articles and magazines on games and gaming; production and distribution of motion pictures and an ongoing television game show; providing online publications in the nature of e-books in the field of fantasy adventures
Based on this, as well as the timing (we first learned of Theros this way approximately 1 year ago), it seems very likely that this is the name of the fall 2014 expansion.
The technical descriptions of what the trademark will entail are rather more detailed now than they were before, and consequently are even more of a smoking gun, because they appear to imply not only cards, but Magic Online versions thereof, e-books, and, oddly enough, articles on the new set (which seems an unnecessary part of the application).
The name Warlords of Khanar is, of course, very cool. It calls to mind a "combat-matters" block, set on a Central Asian-inspired world of fertile and windswept steppes ruled by nomadic tribes who live for battle and conquest on their mighty steeds. The plane would, of course, be named Khanar, since it's policy that the first set of every block should contain the name of the setting to establish an identity, but curiously, the "feel" of the name seems similar to that of Mongseng, the plane of Kharasha Foothills.
What do you think Warlords of Khanar will turn out to be? Let me know in the comments.