News About DC

Emily Campbell Quoted in Bloomberg BNA’s Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal on Trademarks and Likelihood of Confusion

On August 7, Bloomberg BNA covered DC Comics v. Gotham City Networking, Inc., T.T.A.B., No. 91194716, 7/17/15.  The case involves a trademark application filed by Gotham City Networking Inc. for “Gotham Batmen” with a stylized bat-like logo to be used in networking referral services and “entertainment in the nature of amateur softball games.”  According to Bloomberg, “DC Comics, which owns the rights to Batman and numerous trademarks related to the superhero, opposed the registration on dilution and likelihood of confusion grounds.”  The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled on July 17, that the use of the name “Gotham Batmen” was likely to cause confusion with a number of different marks owned by DC Comics.

Administrative Judge Jyll Taylor provided a dissenting opinion, noting that DC Comics had failed to establish that “Batman” was a famous mark, having not proven the connection between DC and Warner Bros. Studies.  According to BloombergBNA, “[t]he majority had found “Batman” to be famous, largely because of the films.

Gotham City argued that its trademark constituted a parody.  Dunlap Codding Shareholder Emily Campbell was quoted as saying that “for a parody defense to succeed in trademark law, the parodist has to walk a “fine line” between resembling the parodied mark and making a point…. [A] poster of a pregnant woman wearing a Girl Scout uniform with the Scouts’ slogan “Be Prepared” written underneath qualified as an example of an outrageous joke that worked as a trademark parody.”  She explained that the “Batman” –  “bat men” softball joke was not nearly as obvious and therefore did not bode well for Gotham City’s chances that its mark was a parody and would not cause confusion.

Campbell also said that Judge Taylor’s concerns were valid, and the majority’s famous mark analysis could be an issue on appeal.  “The dissent is interesting because there does seem to be a hole in the evidence.  The majority filled in the blanks to come to the conclusion that we all recognize the Batman name, but I think to adhere to the law [the board needed to make a fuller analysis.]”


DC On Film Row

About DC on Film Row

DC on Film Row is a free event space open to everyone in our community.

We like to say that the space is a “home for creatives and innovators, home builders and the homeless, celebrators and the celebrated” so people understand that we are inclusive and want everyone from throughout our community using our space.

Our goal is to celebrate the incredible diversity of creativity, innovation, and passion within Oklahoma City and to provide a venue—free of charge—to those groups and individuals working to bind us all together and make our home a cooler and better place. No strings attached—no extensive rules to follow. We simply ask that all of our neighbors be honored and that all viewpoints be respected. Our criteria for use is simple: If the event, group, or meeting is something which strengthens our community and brings us all together, the space is available for use.

The space has hosted everything from charitable fundraisers to an underground nightclub party to celebrate Canterbury Choral Society’s 45th anniversary season. We host dinners for the OKC homeless population most Monday evenings where upwards of 250 people are served—we provide the space and soft drinks and a local church provides the food. We’ve hosted university planning retreats and monthly local rock concerts.

Every Wednesday, we open up the courtyard for lunch, invite a local food truck to set up outside our gates, and welcome our downtown neighbors into the space for a bit of socialization.

Our never-ending soda fountain seems to be the biggest hit with some of our neighbors while others spend time playing pool or simply chatting about what is happening on the weekend.

For October we turn the space into a haunted house and invite the neighborhood children to come out and trick-or-treat.

Got an idea for how to use the space? Just ask us – we’re almost certain to say yes!

The Space for Ideas.

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