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Florida man sued by DC Comics over figurines

John Stacks is being sued by DC Comics for selling figurines resembling Batman characters. Stacks’ figurines resemble the actors of the 1960s Batman TV series, and he has permission to use the likeness of the actors, but apparently he didn’t get permission to use the Batman trademark. In the last decade he says he’s made $3,000. DC Comics wants him to stop selling the figures, relinquish his remaining inventory and pay them three times the profits he’s earned.

Community Comments

#1 Henry Clausner
July/21/2009
@ 9:30 am

I know they are very tough with that kinda stuff…

#2 TheNewsGuy
July/21/2009
@ 9:49 am

Well, trademark law requires that DC defend against any infringing use.

I wonder if DC would allow him a “retroactive approval” of trademark use if he agrees to cease and desist immediately or pay a royalty on all future sales. It’s a small-potatoes sort of thing, so one never knows what DC would be willing to do…

#3 Wiley Miller
July/21/2009
@ 9:54 am

You know, right above the box to write your comment is a note that clearly states the rule of this forum to use your first and last name when posting a comment, rather than an anonymous screen name. Why is this such a difficult task for some?

#4 Ben Rankel
July/21/2009
@ 10:17 am

I suppose we could delve into sociological debates regarding the creation of identity and why humans feel the inability to detach from created identities.

But maybe mom and pop Guy just named their kid Thenews. I’ve seen stranger. :)

#5 Hans Flagon
July/21/2009
@ 10:37 am

There is more- DC has huge problems with the TV version of Batman, because not only is counter to their “Batman of the Month” marketing strategy, but because of the rights to that show being tied up with William Dozer estate and everyone else involved at the time (20th Century Fox), that entire era is a huge segment of their intellectual property that they have no way to exploit themselves. As they can’t release the shows on DVD, they quite often can’t even give any publicity to that aspect of their legacy via merchandising either. Because it is something they cannot exploit themselves.

It was good to them in the day however.

#6 BOB QUICK
July/21/2009
@ 11:45 am

HOLY OUCH!!! The Dark Knight strikes again.

#7 Shane Davis
July/21/2009
@ 8:24 pm

â??Batman of the Monthâ? marketing strategy”

So true.

OK, I used to dig Adam West a lot. Great show, loved it, right? So a few years ago, I tried to get back ‘into’ Batman…geez! No way!

How many universes, story lines and costumes can one crime fighting transvestite in tights have!?

#8 David Adams
July/21/2009
@ 9:52 pm

Dear Mr. Miller,

Thank you for calling out my little faux pas. As you know, when logged into the site, the comment form doesn’t give you the option to enter your name but simply plugs in your username. As you know when registering for this site, it asks for a username and an email address and doesn’t get around to asking for a real name until you fill out your profile. TheNewsGuy is simply my generic comic-related-site username.

However, I’ve now found the pull down in the profile that will allow the site to show my actual name rather than the username. Hopefully this will better help you to understand my previous comment which is simply that owners of trademarks are required to defend against even the most minor commercial infringements of trademarks. I also suggested having made the defense, the may or may not be willing to sweep it all under the rug with a bit of legalese.

Again, forgive my clear netiquette violation. It won’t happen again.

#9 Henry Clausner
July/22/2009
@ 4:37 pm

dave, don’t sweat it..

#10 Dave Stephens
July/22/2009
@ 8:23 pm

Dave,

Wiley can be ‘biley’, but he’s usually quite ‘smiley’ – And now it’s fixed and just in time, gee…

#11 Dave Adams
July/22/2009
@ 10:30 pm

Meh… it’s fine. When it gets down to it, it *does* say to use your first and last name even though the site defaults don’t actually do it. Menu option switched, and everybody can be friends.

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