News & Analysis as of

DC Comics

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s Dilution By Blurring: TTAB Sustains DC Comics’ Opposition Against Application For Super Woman Of...

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

In a non-precedential decision in DC Comics v Deanna Rivetti (Opposition 91219851, August 17 2017), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) sustained an opposition to the registration of Application Number 86240703 for...more

Comic-Con Invades San Diego

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Thursday, July 20th will mark the start of the 47th annual San Diego Comic-Con International, more commonly known as San Diego Comic-Con or “SDCC”. The convention is a four-day event held every July at the San Diego...more

Comic Book E-Discovery: Writer Ben Percy & Attorney Josh Gilliland Weigh In on the Legal World of DC's Green Arrow

by Exterro, Inc. on

Some people might think of comic books as flights of fancy filled with characters wielding supernatural powers to fight foes from other planets, and yes, that’s true. But there are other comics that, while still being...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: FLANAX, Fishing Tackle, Football Players and More

by WilmerHale on

Summaries of Recent Precedential and Informative Appellate Opinions - Trademark Opinions - Owners of Foreign Marks May Sue Under Lanham Act Without Using Marks in the US: Belmora LLC v. Bayer Consumer Care AG,...more

Holy Copyrightability Batman! The Batmobile Is Still a Superhero

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

A recent Ninth Circuit decision has endorsed copyright protection for Batman’s four-wheeled sidekick, confirming that copyright protection can extend to “sufficiently distinctive” elements of an original work, like comic-book...more

Intellectual Property Law - February 2016

Both Sides Claim Victory in ITC Ruling re Converse's "Chuck Taylors" - Why it matters: On November 17, 2015, an International Trade Commission judge issued an initial ruling in In the Matter of Certain Footwear...more

2015 IP Law Year In Review

by Knobbe Martens on

Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (May 26, 2015) - ..Does a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement? NO - ..Inducement requires...more

Superman, Superdad, and the Limits of a Trademark Parody Defense

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

Superman has triumphed yet again, this time with help from the federal court in the Central District of California. It wasn’t actually Superman that scored this particular victory, but DC Comics, owner of the trademark rights...more

Holy Copyright Batman; the Batmobile Still Protected by Copyright Despite “Costume Changes” - DC Comics v. Mark Towle dba Garage...

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, recognizing that Batman’s personal crime-fighting vehicle, the Batmobile, is not just a cool car, but a character with “physical as well as conceptual qualities,” concluded...more

Holy Copyrightability Batman! The Batmobile Is Still A Superhero…

by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP on

In the spring of 2013, this author reported on the then-recent decision, DC Comics v. Towle, 989 F. Supp. 2d 948 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 7, 2013), where Judge Ronald Lew determined that the Batmobile is a comic book character...more

Copyright Protection Goes ‘To the Batmobile!’ says the Ninth Circuit

by Reed Smith on

While the Caped Crusader drives around in his Batmobile protecting Gotham from its fringe, copyright law protects the Batmobile from infringers—this, according to the Ninth Circuit in DC Comics v. Towle. The Batmobile is more...more

Ninth Circuit: “Holy Copyright Law, Batman!” The Batmobile Is Copyrightable

by BakerHostetler on

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Batmobile is a copyrightable character. The Ninth Circuit’s opinion explaining its ruling begins with the sentence “Holy copyright law, Batman!,” and goes on to quote Adam West...more

Pow! Boff! Thwack! Batmobile Wins Copyright Litigation

by Lewitt Hackman on

It's not every day a Ninth Circuit court opinion includes, "Holy copyright law, Batman!," or “To the Batmobile!” But in affirming a district court’s ruling in a copyright infringement case by DC Comics against the maker of...more

Meet Batman’s New (Trademark) Nemesis: Rihanna

After making (and remaking (and re-remaking)) movies, sequels, and prequels for nearly every comic book character in its library, it appears that DC Comics has finally found a new foe for its Batman franchise: music and...more

Likelihood of Illusion

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting my grandmother’s farmhouse in northwest Iowa. I don’t think I had been there in probably five years, as she had been living in California for most of that time....more

Superheroes of Copyright: When Do Fictional Characters Enjoy Copyright Protection?

Several recent cases have highlighted the interesting issue of whether and when fictional characters – as distinct from the works they inhabit – are subject to copyright protection. Over the years, courts have developed two...more

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