DC Comics have garnered a great deal of buzz recently regarding their trademark oppositions. In a story that went viral, and was broken by Pirated Thoughts, DC Comics recently opposed Rihanna’s attempt to register a trademark for her real name ROBYN claiming that it was too similar to its Robin of Batman and Robin fame. Now, DC Comics is opposing the registration for the mark GOTHAM for an analytic computer software claiming that it is confusingly similar with its GOTHAM mark.
Of course Gotham City, is the home town of one, Bruce Wayne, and has been such since Batman was first introduced in 1939. DC Comics does not own a trademark registration for Gotham but claims common law use of the GOTHAM trademark; DC Comics does own registrations for the terms GOTHAM GIRLS, GOTHAM CITY, GOTHAM CENTRAL and GOTHAM KNIGHTS. Further, DC Comics licensed television show Gotham features Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne taking on a rogues gallery of younger villains.
DC Comics use of the mark GOTHAM is well-known but “gotham” has some generic meanings as well. Gotham is a famous nickname for New York City. According to the New York Public Library (we do our research here at Pirated Thoughts) the word “gotham” actually dates back to medieval England. English proverbs speak of a village called Gotham or Gottam, meaning “Goat’s Town”. The goat was considered to be a foolish animal so Gotham was a city of fools…or an alternative theory is Gotham’s citizens only played like they were fools to avoid the wrath of the king. Later, the term “gotham” was even used to describe a print font.
For Palantir Technologies Inc., “Palantir Gotham” is a computer program used to take large amounts of data and integrate and map it all into a single, coherent model. Basically, Palantir Gotham is a data management system that can take numbers and convert them into models and charts for analysis. On June 23, 2014, Palantir filed is trademark registration for the term GOTHAM; not sure why they left out the “Palantir” but that is what is contributing to the problems with DC Comics.
Yesterday, DC Comics formally opposed the registration of the trademark. DC Comics argues that users are likely to wrongfully associate Palantir’s mark with its GOTHAM mark and DC Comics when there is no relationship between the two. So would you as a user of a computer software that analyzes huge amounts of data that bears the mark GOTHAM confuse it with DC Comics’ GOTHAM? That is the question posed in the fight to get this trademark registered. Palantir, if it chooses to fight, will surely assert that the term is generic and associated with many other things, like fonts and New York City, than the Caped Crusader. Palantir can now fight the opposition, work out a co-existence agreement with DC Comics or walk away from the registration. To be continued in the next issue…
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