The Punisher gets his own street justice, Marvel goes the more formal route. Marvel has opposed a trademark for REAL LIFE PRINCIPLES which, let’s be honest, is an absolute knock-off of the Punisher skull and guns logo.
In March 2017, Daniel Farmer of Florida and of an AOL email address, filed a trademark registration for the logo that can been seen above and to the right. Farmer claims first use of the mark back in 2014 on “bottoms, hats and tops”. Farmer is selling these shirts somewhere, somehow but Google didn’t come up with many answers. The logo might look familiar and Marvel tends to think so.
Marvel has opposed the registration of the REAL LIFE PRINCIPLES trademark based upon the famous logo worn my its anti-hero the Punisher. Since 1974, the Punisher has been prowling the streets seeking his own form of justice. As described by Marvel: “Frank Castle, a former U.S. Marine proficient in basic infantry skills, special operations, and the use and maintenance of specialized firearms and explosive ordnance. Over the years, the PUNISHER Character has been identified as a vigilante who wages war on mobsters and criminals, often by using all manner of firearms and conventional war weaponry.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, and that copy and paste saved me a lot of typing time. Thanks, guys. Marvel sells a ton of products bearing the Punisher’s skull logo and the image has become well associated with the character and Marvel.
Marvel argues that the REAL LIFE PRINCIPLES mark is confusingly similar to its logo and therefore the trademark registration must be denied. Basically, Marvel argues that when you see the REAL LIFE PRINCIPLES on a shirt or “bottom,” consumers would be confused and think that this is the Punisher logo and the merch is made by or associated with Marvel, when it is not.
My full legal analysis is: well duh. The REAL LIFE PRINCIPLES looks incredibly similar to the Punisher logo and no way this mark goes through. Farmer has also put himself in the crosshairs of Marvel and could be sued for counterfeiting and trademark infringement. I can’t imagine that Farmer would try to fight this and if he does, he is entering a scary War Zone. (Reference to that bad Punisher movie….I’m funny?)