if marvel created the transformers characters

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by superpunch, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. superpunch

    superpunch Banned

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    do they have any rights to the franchise, as i heard they were taking wwe to court over the hulk hogan property
     
  2. LEADERS_MATRIX

    LEADERS_MATRIX Wisdom of the ages...

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    As best I remember it was licnesed to Marvel, so they have no rights to the property, so maybe if any, just the names? not sure though.
     
  3. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    The way that I always undertood it (and I am sure Nevermore, if no-one else, can clarify/correct me if I am wrong) the license to do the original comics was given to Marvel back in the 80s, but they don't have that license any more. The characters were created by Marvel, but they were created for Hasbro using Hasbro's properties; Hasbro always owned the characters.
    However - Marvel do own the rights to some characters that were created specifically for the comics; Circuit Breaker (I think), Death's head, and so on.
     
  4. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    As it was a licensed production, rights to the characters based on Hasbro's toys remain with Hasbro, just like any work done under a work-for-hire contract becomes the property of the client under US copyright law.

    The thing with Hulk Hogan's name was a trademark issue, which is something else entirely.
     
  5. Goatboy

    Goatboy Well-Known Member

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    They didnt create the characters althought they did put a lot of flesh on the bare bones that were given in the original toy bios(and in some cases totaly changed things). All of that was done under license from Hasbro. Marvel paid/ were paid by Hasbro to make a comic based on there toys but Hasbro still owned the brand and all the characters. Same thing with the G1 cartoon. The tricky bit IIRC comes with who owns the specific media, eg if Marvel wanted to reprint there Transformers comics would they be able to do it without Hasbros permision and vice versa?
     
  6. Lord Shockwave7

    Lord Shockwave7 Xbox Live Dictator

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    Marvel published the Transformers and had the rights at the time to use the names in the comic, but now they don't. since hasbro has to trademark the names every year that would mean that marvel no langer has the rights. They came up with the names but the names arent under perminent copyright they have to trademarked every year by hasbro.
     
  7. Lord Shockwave7

    Lord Shockwave7 Xbox Live Dictator

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    back during energon they lost the rights to Shockwave so they had to change it to Shockblast. so theres an Ex. of it not being permanent
     
  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Buuuuut the bios were written by... Bob Budiansky, who was working for Marvel at that time.

    Hasbro has the rights to the Marvel comics, although those containing Marvel-owned characters such as Spider-Man or Circuit Breaker were trickier (as shown in the case of IDW's reprints a few years back). Hasbro acquired the sole rights to the G1 cartoon from TV Loonland (legal successor of Sunbow) in 2008.

    Trademark and copyright are two different things! And Hasbro having the trademarks in the toys field has no direct bearing on those names being used within the content of a comic.

    Which, again, has nothing to do with Marvel's ability (or lack thereof) to use the names within the content of a comic!
     
  9. Lord Shockwave7

    Lord Shockwave7 Xbox Live Dictator

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    What does that mean for Idw if marvel "has the rights" to the names -in comics
     
  10. Lord Shockwave7

    Lord Shockwave7 Xbox Live Dictator

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    Hasbro owns the franchise but other companies have the right to use it. but i have never heard of a company doing that with out the say so and guide of Hasbro. (side question) IF Transformers is such a big franchise and marvel (apparently) has the rights to use the names then why dont they?
     
  11. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    The way I understood it, Hasbro and Marvel had an arrangement where any character who appeared first in the Transformers comic / show would belong to Hasbro, whereas Marvel would own any character who appeared first in another marvel title, though these Marvel characters could appear in Transformers. Thus we have the references to the Savage Land, Spider-man, Dazzler, and other Marvel properties, especially in the early days of the comic.

    What does this mean for IDW, the current holder of the license? Well, look at their "Generations" Reprints. They can reprint any issue with no marvel characters in it, but if a marvel character appears in the issue, they seem to do one of three things: 1) Black out the character or the reference to it, if its only a small appearance. 2) Print a summary of the issue, with a plot synopsis and a recognition that Marvel owns the rights to parts of it. 3) Avoid the whole reprinting altogether.

    IDW could probably make some kind of a deal with Marvel to reprint these other issues, but its an additional cost for comics that I wager only appeal to a small demographic. I mean, its not like Marvel is doing much with Circuit Breaker these days.
     
  12. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    No no no no.

    Hasbro holds the trademarks to the names in the field of toys.

    The names are NOT trademarked in the field of comics, thus IDW can use them, but Marvel could theoretically also use them, at least the lower-profile ones. They probably wouldn't dare to use "Optimus Prime" or "Megatron" especially since they're business partners of Hasbro right now, but there's nothing stopping them from using "Goldbug", "Jazz", "Tracks" or anything else that's not overtly associated with the Transformers brand.

    And DC can also have a "Bumblebee" character occasionally appearing in Teen Titans.

    Because trademark only applies to the identification of goods and services in commerce. This can apply to the title of a comic, possibly names used in advertising or on the cover... but not names that only appear in the story pages themselves.

    Example: Marvel have the name "Captain Marvel" trademarked. For decades. There's a DC character named "Captain Marvel", and he's referred to as "Captain Marvel" in stories just fine. DC just cannot release a comic with the name "Captain Marvel". That's why you see titles like "The Power of Shazam!" instead.
     
  13. sto_vo_kor_2000

    sto_vo_kor_2000 Banned

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    Actually they did.

    Before Marvel got involved thev toys had no characters at all.
     
  14. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    They did that a long time ago. Hulk had to pay a licensing fee if I remember correctly.

    Hasbro, in the 80s, was not a creator but more of a wrangler. The toys were diaclone (oddly so were some go bots) and the backstory and names came from an agreement made with Marvel basically paying them for the names they create for the toys that were sent to them to use in the stories. That's why Death's head and a couple other characters are owned by marvel. They were not part of the toyline that appeared from hasbro. I want to say Goldbug was a part of that too. It's only in the last 15 years Hasbro has created anything transformers.

    Seeing as Marvel has shares in hasbro and also distribute toys through hasbro I don't see there being any issue. It'll only be a matter of time before the comics go back to Marvel as well as soon as the licensing agreement is up with IDW.

    As for trademarks, no they can't cross platforms if the subject is the same. So if the toy Bumblebee is tm to Hasbro then they still own the tm for the transformer IDW Bumblebee because it meets the percentage requirements for similarity in trademark. A yellow transforming robot that's an autobot. IDW owns the copyright for the writing and artwork unless an agreement was made but that's all. Possibly introduction of non commissioned by hasbro characters too and titles (All hail Megatron can be trademarked as a title to IDW)
     

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