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Marvel and DC want to own “super-hero” word

Slightly off topic – but Marvel and DC comics are demanding that they joint-own the word “super-hero.”

Marvel Comics is continuing in its bid to steal the word “super-hero” from the public domain and put it in a lock-box to which it will control the key. Marvel and DC comics jointly filed a trademark on the word “super-hero.” They use this mark to legally harass indie comic companies that make competing comic books.

A trademark’s enforceability hinges on whether the public is likely to associate a word or mark with a given company — in other words, when you hear the word “super-hero,” if you think “Marvel and DC,” then Marvel will be able to go on censoring and eliminating its competition.

Community Comments

#1 Robert
March/21/2006
@ 9:52 am

“Super-hero”?

Um, guys, it’s “superhero” (by more than a 3-to-1 margin according to Google).

What is it with Marvel and hyphens? “Spider-man”

#2 Robert
March/21/2006
@ 3:52 pm

“Super-hero”?

Um, guys, it’s “superhero” (by more than a 3-to-1 margin according to Google).

What is it with Marvel and hyphens? “Spider-man”

#3 Bob
March/22/2006
@ 7:58 pm

And that’s the issue. DC and Marvel have owned a joint trademark on the word “superhero” for the past 35 years. Now some publishers are trying to skirt the law by adding a hyphen. Probably wouldn’t get them very far in court. But the Big Two are now trying to include “super-hero” in their trademark to avoid ambiguity.

See the Wikipedia entry on “superhero” for more details.

#4 Bob
March/22/2006
@ 1:58 pm

And that’s the issue. DC and Marvel have owned a joint trademark on the word “superhero” for the past 35 years. Now some publishers are trying to skirt the law by adding a hyphen. Probably wouldn’t get them very far in court. But the Big Two are now trying to include “super-hero” in their trademark to avoid ambiguity.

See the Wikipedia entry on “superhero” for more details.

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