Thursday, May 12, 2016

DC Comics Files 11% of All Trademarks Filed With USPTO Last Saturday

On May 7th, 288 trademark applications were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Such volume is typical for a Saturday. What's a little atypical is that DC Comics filed 33 of those 288 applications.
DC Comics filed trademarks applications for WONDER WOMAN, SUICIDE SQUAD, and HARLEY QUINN in a variety of classes (with each class listed on a separate application, hence the large number of applications). Those classes included: Class 041 (various entertainment services), Class 009 (motion pictures and videos), Class 032 (various drinks like vegetable juice), Class 030 (various grocery items like cookies and candy), Class 029 (various canned or jarred goods), Class 028 (various toys), Class 024 (linens), Class 021 (various home goods), Class 020 (random home goods like sleeping bags and deck chairs), Class 018 (bags and backpacks), Class 016 (various printed materials like books), Class 014 (clocks and watches), and Class 005 (vitamins).

It is not uncommon to see an entertainment company file trademark applications for such a broad variety of goods and services. These filings give the company protection over the core services (i.e. motion pictures and entertainment) while also protecting a wide range of merchandise.

Why file a separate application for each class of goods or services when it's possible to list each class on one application (and the filing fee is the same)? It's a strategic move by DC Comics. For example, if the company listed every class of goods and services on one application for HARLEY QUINN, an issue in the registration process related to one class (say, vitamins) could hold up the entire application. If filed separately, every other application can still proceed even if the application for vitamins is held up by the Trademark Office.

In any event, DC Comics just significantly increased its trademark portfolio. Back in February 2016, I blogged about ten other trademark applications filed by the company for the Wonder Woman logo (presumably filed in preparation for the Wonder Woman movie).

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