Recently an indie publishing house found out the hard way that Marvel and DC share a surprising trademark.
Cup O Java Studios’ title A World Without Superheroes recently got slapped with a cease-and-desist from both Marvel and DC. Why? It turns out they jointly own the trademark to the term superhero. In fact, they apparently own the right to every permutation of the word, regardless of spelling.
Artist and founder of Bronx Heroes Con Ray Felix has entered into legal battle over the claimed infringing of trademark. The first cease-and-desist came in September 2010. Felix was still able to trademark his title shortly thereafter, though, and he officially entered into battle with the big two in April 2012. How does Felix feel about Marvel and DC’s claim?
…jointly trademarking a word does not entitle any company or individual rights over the word as DC/ Marvel had proclaimed. In their eyes they own every and any variation of the word regardless of spelling, variation in a statement or sentence in the English language or foreign. Registration marks do not work that way. It’s illegal and impractical. Also, Registration gives you legal rights to word usage for a literal element. Meaning a specific product which uses the actual word to sell a product(s). Trademarks/ registered marks are never secure and can always be brought into opposition by any party which feels that it is infringing on their registration rights.
That being said, Felix has not had much luck. He has described Marvel and DC’s lawyers as grunting, losing their patience and being sharp with him. Furthermore, he claims that, due to a computer error, the judged charged him with abandonment and accused Felix of being “argumentative.”
Most damning of all, though, is his assertion that even other independent creators and fans don’t seem to care about this struggle.
I went public about the case at the last Mocca Con and was surprised that I was treated like a leper. It was the first time I felt like an excommunicated Christian at a comic con. Few voices were supportive. I got a few snickers and a few childish responses from so-called male adults. It surprised me that people who spend their money at comic cons and read about heroes are so afraid and un-heroic in their own code to stand for something. They’re conditioned puppets of corporate structures.
Felix went on to accuse the up-and-coming generation of creators of being “just hipsters who look like independent artists but have a corporate mindset of making themselves the next mainstream.” Harsh words, but does he have a point? Should there be more struggling against comics’ current corporate structure?
We’re certainly interested in whether Felix sees any direct result or at least moves the dialogue forward over the use of something as simple as superhero.
Marvel are sending out these images showing Nick Lowe and Sana Amanat suffering under the size, scale and weight of the $200 Wolverine Adamantium hardcover, coming out alongside the new movie.
But the editors don’t have to print the buggers, collate them, distribute them and put them up on shelves on tippy toe, or carry them down the road to post through a letter box, that it won’t even fit through.
So yes, they are big and heavy. But the real strain will be felt by those who want to read the damn thing
Michael Avon Oeming can’t get enough “Powers.” He and writer Brian Michael Bendis launched the series over a decade ago, chronicling the adventures of Deena Pilgrim and Christian Walker, a pair of seemingly normal cops working in a world filled with people with superpowers. The series began at Image Comics in 2000 where it remained for 37 issues before moving over to Marvel Comics’ creator-owned Icon imprint where it remained for another 30 issues before taking a break in 2008. A third series launched in 2009, running 11 issues before hitting the pause button once again in 2012.
The latest hiatus came as a result of a separate-yet-related Bendis and Oeming project: the “Powers” television adaptation. A pilot was written and filmed, but apparently it wasn’t what FX was looking for, so it’s back to the drawing board. Though fans have wondered about the status of the series, everyone involved continues to assure that the show is still in the works.
But the duo could not stay away from the medium that launched both their careers and spawned the still-gestating live action show for long. February sees the launch of an all-new volume with an all-new title: “Powers: Bureau” (formerly known as “Powers: FBI”). With Pilgrim and Walker both moving up to bigger and potentially better things in the Federal Bureau of Investigations, CBR News spoke with Oeming about their new responsibilities, what they mean for the characters, what led to the series double-name change and the latest status of the television pilot.
CLICK BELOW TO READ THE FULL INTERVIEW ON CBR!!!!
“Moon” and “Source Code” director Duncan Jones has signed on to direct “Warcraft”, the upcoming feature film based on the award-winning role-playing video game universe.
Starting out as several award-winning PC games in 1994, the Warcraft universe is a rich fantasy setting that revolves around the epic conflict between the opposing forces of the Horde and the Alliance.
It expanded into novels, action figures, apparel, comic books, board games and the famous multiplayer online role-playing game ‘World of Warcraft’.
Charles Leavitt penned the script while Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Charles Roven and Alex Gartner are producing.
The film is said to have a budget over $100 million. Shooting aims to begin this Fall for a 2015 release.
Sam Raimi was attached as director for several years until he departed back in mid-2012.
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Superman Unbound, based on Geoff Johns’ 2008 Action Comics story arc, finds the Man of Steel squaring off against the planet-destroying alien machine, Brainiac, while balancing his responsibilities to Lois Lane and cousin Kara (Supergirl). The voice cast includes White Collar’s Matt Bomer as Superman, Fringe’s John Noble as Brainiac and Castle’s Stana Katic and Molly Quinn as Lois and Kara, respectively.
Superman Unbound will release on Blu-ray, DVD and later this year.
20th Century Fox and Scott Free have picked up the film rights to Matt Kindt’s indie comic “Mind MGMT”.
The ongoing series centers on a government agency consisting of psychic spies and their greatest asset, Henry Lime.After he suffers a breakdown and loses control of his abilities, causing the populace of a town to kill one another, he goes onthe run. Several years later, a true-crime author named Meru, who was part of a flight where everyone mysteriously developed amnesia, is saved by Lime and begins to investigate the agency, uncovering her own secret connection to it.
A writer is currently being sought to adapt the script. Ridley Scott, Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg are producing.