I’m sure Frank Castle would love to use this gun but Marvel wouldn’t want him doing so. Marvel is battling trademark registration applications for the PUNISHER word mark and a copy of the Punisher skull logo being used on guns without Marvel’s permission.
The Punisher first made his appearance in the February 1974, The Amazing Spider-Man #129 comic book. The Punisher was a bloodthirsty vigilante that, during his first appearance, was determined to kill Spider-Man, who was wanted for the apparent murder of Norman Osborn. The Punisher became the ultimate anti-hero with no qualms about killing his enemies unlike other superheroes. The character has been popular ever since and has appeared in a few forgettable movies and a new version of the character will star in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil series.
Molon Labe is a manufacturer of accessories for guns and related apparel. From looking at their website, Molon Labe claims it name is a registered trademark and even puts the registered trademark symbol after several marks like CLOCK and RUGER. Clearly, Molon Labe knows what a trademark is but, much like the Punisher, it makes its own rules. The company is producing firearm accessories and t-shirts sporting a confusingly similar copy of the famous Punisher skull logo. In May 2015, Molon Labe filed trademark registrations to register the Punisher logo that can be seen on the right and middle below and the PUNISHER word mark in a class that covers firearms and parts. As a specimen of use, the company provided the image of the fancy looking weapon that can be seen here sporting the trademarks.
Yesterday, Marvel filed extensions of time to oppose the registration of these two trademarks. This is the usual first step to opposing the mark and allows the registrant additional time to see if they want to fight for the registration or if the parties can settle the dispute. Molon Labe by using the PUNISHER word mark and logo on the same weapon appear to be using Marvel’s trademarks to sell products.
This is a pretty clear and blatant case of trademark infringement and I’m not even sure why Molon Labe would try to register these marks. These registrations have gotten the company in Marvel sights and the problems don’t end at just the trademark registrations. Molin Labe will find itself on the other end of an infringement lawsuit if it doesn’t stop using the Punisher logo on the gun and t-shirts. Marvel shouldn’t have any problems taking out these registrations.