Sometimes I wonder just want some trademark applicants and their attorneys are thinking. If you try to trademark the term HULK FITNESS in association with something related to getting strong, you have to anticipate Marvel getting angry and you wont like Marvel when they are angry.

In March 2017, Donald Sprouse, through his attorneys, filed a trademark registration application for the term HULK FITNESS to cover gym equipment described as “Exercise equipment, namely, Olympic Bars, Slam Balls, Fitness Accessories, Power Cages and Cable Machines.” (Slam Balls??? – so many jokes to make there.) This is a 1(b) application meaning that Sprouse, at the time of the filing of the application, had the good faith intent to use the mark in commerce but has yet to do so. Meaning you can’t yet go to a store and buy your Hulk Fitness Slam Ball.

Since 1962, Marvel has used the INCREDIBLE HULK and related HULK trademarks in association with the comic book character with anger control issues. Marvel has 18 (!) trademark registrations related to the HULK word mark, the HULK logo, and even the HULK look. As you can imagine, if there is a fitness brand related to getting strong with the name “Hulk” in it, Marvel would not be happy. Therefore, Marvel has opposed the registration of the mark claiming that people are bound to be confused and think that HULK FITNESS is associated with the big green guy or Marvel when it is not.

I can’t imagine Sprouse coughing up the money to pay for this fight that is very difficult to win. I also hope that his lawyers gave him a warning that this was bound to happen. Marvel is very protective of its trademarks and files numerous other trademark oppositions that you can read about here.