201904.10
0

Applicant strikes back at Marvel trade mark opposition

Battles are usually illustrated in comic books, however, recent intellectual property news tells us of a trade mark opposition battle between comic book companies, Goode Enterprise Solutions Limited and Marvel.

In March 2018, Goode Enterprise Solutions, filed a US trade mark application for ‘Return of the Guardians’ covering classes 16, 25 and 41; notably comic books and entertainment services. Marvel filed an opposition against the trade mark application a year later claiming that if the trade mark was registered, it would be damaging to its ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ mark.

Marvel has been recognised for its ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ mark in connection with comic books since 1969. The ‘Guardians’ being a diverse team of superheroes who protect the universe. In recent years, Marvel have released two ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ films.

In its opposition, Marvel stated the applied for mark ‘Return of the Guardians’ is confusingly similar to its own mark particularly in terms of its overall appearance and commercial impression. Further, Marvel alleged the applicant’s mark appropriates its ‘Guardians’ mark in its entirety.

Goode Enterprise has recently filed its response to Marvel’s opposition denying Marvel’s allegations that the mark would cause confusion and claiming that Marvel doesn’t have the legal standing to bring a claim. It has also argued that Marvel were “unduly influenced” into opposing its trade mark application by another company, Gaia Inc, who has previously had disputes with Goode Enterprise in relation to contractual breaches.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.