Gotham

Can a fictional name be trademarked? An interesting question.

We posted earlier about real-life protection for fictional trademarks (here and here). You know, fictional names used in films, series, etc., like Harry Potters’ broomstick: the Nimbus 2000 and Homer Simpson’s Duff Beer.

We can now add a new trademark to those that crossed the boundaries between fiction and reality. Batman’s home town: Gotham.

Earlier this year, Twentieth Century Fox registered a trademark for the word “Gotham” for, amongst others ‘entertainment services, live musical, comedy and dramatic performances’.

But then Fox and Warner Brothers came too; some kind of deal over the future of the Batman TV series and its licensing. Fox abandoned their trademark. And Warners subsidiary DC Comics has registered the trademark Gotham, also for ‘entertainment services’.

This could end up in a superhero IP battle. A battle where anything is possible. Or as we quote Vintage Batman (nothing beats the original series):

Robin: “That’s an impossible shot, Batman.”
Batman: “That’s a negative attitude, Robin.”

© Photo by Justin van Genderen

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