Batman Logo Remains Trademarked in EU

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (CN) — An Italian company did not get away with contesting the copyright of the Caped Crusader on Wednesday, as the EU’s second-highest court rejected a claim the logo was too generic.

© and ™ DC Comics

Courthouse News Service reports on the win for the owner:

The comic creator has held the rights to use the logo on everything from Halloween costumes to novelty buttons for nearly a quarter-century. 

Naples-based Commerciale Italiana meanwhile argued that the logo — an oval with a bat representation inside — was too generic and accused the EUIPO of failing to not properly justify its rejection. 

Luigi Aprile, Commerciale Italiana’s solo owner, wanted to be allowed to use the logo on a wide variety of goods, including T-shirts and party hats. 

The Luxembourg-based court found that the image was clearly connected to the crime fighter…

From the Reuters account:

The Italian company had asked EUIPO [European Union Intellectual Property Office] to annul the trademark for clothing and carnival items, saying that it lacked a distinctive character.

After EUIPO rejected its application, Commerciale Italiana Srl took its grievance to the Luxembourg-based General Court. Judges backed the EU trademark body.

So the question now is, How closely does an image have to be connected? Clearly some images are irrefutable.

But how about some others. Prince Valiant’s royal crest, Nancy’s three rocks, or Bizarro’s alien?

Would those pass muster in the European Court? Or even in a U.S. court?

One thought on “Batman Logo Remains Trademarked in EU

  1. The registered trademarking of the various symbols or logos is confimed by the Trademark office, and is sufficient to stand up in U.S. courts. I’m puzzled by the “more than a quarter of a century” statement. The oval Bat symbol was created in 1964 as Batman’s chest emblem (though the Bat-signal dates back to the early ’40s) and it was registered in 1966 in concert with the BATMAN TV series and all the attendant licensing that went on since then, which is 58 years. I guess that is more than a quarter century, but it’s also more than half a century. I would imagine the trademark was registered in Europe at just about the same time. I believe registering a trademark costs money, so unless Bushmiller or UFS tried wasting their money on registering those rocks (which would be way too generic to enforce), the answer to your question would be “no.” The same would probably be true for Val’s knight emblem, but Piraro’s alien might have a chance.

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