The Shenmue 3 trademark application to a European office is the latest hoax in a line of fake submissions, likely from the same person, CVG understands.
On Tuesday, an application for the Shenmue 3 trademark was filed to the Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market (OHIM), though tellingly it was not submitted to any other trademark office, and has yet to be examined.
Update: In a statement sent to CVG, the game's publisher said: "Sega has confirmed that the recent application for the trademark of Shenmue III is a fake and is looking into the origins of this application."
Last week, a trademark for Fallout 4 was submitted to the OHIM but it was eventually examined by officials and discarded. In October, a bogus Half-Life 3 application appeared online but was also discarded after being examined.
A spokesperson for OHIM could not comment on individual cases, but provided CVG with documents which explained how anyone can apply for a trademark - meaning the website is exposed to fakes for a short period of time.
One key sign for all community trademark applications of this kind is a "classification examination" tick box. Until OHIM officials tick this box, the application is unverified.
Though Sega has talked down any possibilities for future Shenmue games over the past ten years, the games community has been sensitive to even the slightest possible hints that the series could return.
On Tuesday, it was confirmed that Shenmue creator Yu Suzuki has been lined up to discuss the creation of the series at the Game Developers Conference next March.
In a special one-hour session, Suzuki will discuss all aspects of Shenmue's creation, from its original prototype as a Virtua Fighter RPG on the Saturn to its eventual release on the Dreamcast.
Suzuki, who is no longer working at Sega, does not own the Shenmue IP.