Home Europe No, I’m Batman: DC Comics wins EU bat trademark fight

No, I’m Batman: DC Comics wins EU bat trademark fight

by editor

Batman publisher DC Comics won European Union court backing in a trademark row with an Italian company that wants to use an image of a black bat inside a white oval frame on its products.

Commerciale Italiana and Luigi Aprile tried to show that people don’t always link the bat sign to the masked crime fighter in their attempt to invalidate DC Comics’ trademark on clothing and novelty items like party hats, which the comic creator has held for just over 25 years.

They previously failed to win European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) support to cancel the trademark and had asked the General Court to reverse that refusal.

Judges said in a Wednesday ruling that the trademark “refers, for the relevant public, to the Batman character.” Even though Batman is fictional that didn’t mean the court couldn’t link the trademark to him, they said.

DC Comics obtained the trademark from EUIPO in February 1998.

The losing party could still seek vengeance by appealing to the Court of Justice, Europe’s top court.

The case is T-735/21 Aprile and Commerciale Italiana v EUIPO – DC Comics (Representation of a bat in an oval frame).  

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