Sue you in the funny papers!

Duets Blog presents the exciting, amply illustrated and, potentially, graphically violent story of the company that thought it could capture the powers of a one-of-a-kind, special — heck, even super hero — and attempt utilize them for its own, presumably evil, ends.

I don’t always agree with my Duets Blog friends, but this time crack Minnesota intellectual property attorney Dan Kelly is on the ball:

Last Friday, MVL Rights, LLC, a Disney subsidiary and apparent owner of rights in the HULK name and character of Marvel Comics origin, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against Airbase Industries, LLC regarding Airbase’s use of HULK in connection with air compressors.  [Insert obligatory Hulk-angry-lawsuit quip here.*

By “character” Dan means “superhero.”  But, never mind that.  This is basically a comic of a lawsuit, and all the analysis you need can be found in this single panel I liberated right off the blog:

Pretty compelling artwork there.  As Dan says:

To my mind, all of the above may well go to the “intent” element in the likelihood of confusion analysis–it really looks like Airbase is trying to play off of the Marvel property.  Marvel, by the way, claims to have once licensed the HULK mark for use with “tool storage units,” so a claim of endorsement or sponsorship may not be terribly outlandish with respect to shop equipment.

This guy is good — he’s even one step ahead of me on my “endorsement or sponsorship” rant!  It’s like some Minnesota intellectual property attorney thing… and they’re all in the same blog… or firm … whatever.  Don’t get me frustrated. You know what getting angry does to me and my shirts.

Anyway, while I’d say that, above all, the picture goes to the LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION element in LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION, this one looks comically easy, no?  “Excelsior!”


*I do appreciate the progressive self-consciousness of the Duets Blog people! Even if the New Age irony is itself a bit, well, ironic.  More importantly, if obvious gags are going to be considered passé in trademark blogging, I’m going to have to learn some law or something.

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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

3 Responses to “Sue you in the funny papers!”

  1. October 26, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    This will probably be a case of he who was the most money will win. Saying the HULK mark for a comic book character protects air compressors is a bit absurd to me… very different channels of commerce… unless Disney is getting into car parts and no one told me.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Nina H.Lanina - October 23, 2010

    RT @RonColeman: Sue you in the funny papers! Big HULK of a LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® claim in Marvel v. Airbase http://bit.ly/9ZEym6 via @duetsblog

  2. Brooklyn Law School - October 28, 2010

    Big hulking trademark claim isn't comical – http://ht.ly/2YkMm