Hasbro And DC Comics Settle Bumblebee Trademark Dispute

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by pie125, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. DeletedUser_117894

    DeletedUser_117894 Well-Known Member

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    If you really believe you are right, I invite you to prove this once and for all. I'll be your lawyer and we'll sue apple for public domain infringement (a serious offence). They have many other "common words" in their trademarks including...

    Aqua®
    Bonjour®
    Cocoa®
    Chicago®
    Finder®
    Launchpad®
    Keynote®
    Keychain®
    Logic®
    Metal®
    Motion®
    New York®
    Pages®
    Photo Booth®
    Passbook®
    Retina®
    Safari®
    Sand®
    Shake®

    Source (That link you couldn't open): Legal - Trademark List - Apple

    I am sure with your legal expertise and my personal law study we'll be a great team.

    Or you could just admit that Trademark isn't a law banning you from using words to describe things, that common words can be trademarks and that toys and toys are the same product category regardless of what the toy is of.
     
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  2. Calabask

    Calabask Waspinator Cultist

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    Too late. Cyberverse is on shelves.
     
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  3. NGW

    NGW Rawr

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    Whole thing was stupid and Hasbro should be ashamed of themselves.
     
  4. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    I didn't think variant confusion could get worse than RID2015 but I was wrong.
     
  5. Skyquake21

    Skyquake21 Well-Known Member

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    Just name her the scientific name for Bumblebee....


    BOMBUS
     
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  6. Calabask

    Calabask Waspinator Cultist

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    Just remember, we get War For Cybertron this year later! And next year!
     
  7. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    Yeah, fuck them for following through on their legal obligations. What scumbags.
     
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  8. Primevil

    Primevil *Insert Witty Title Here*

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    Wasn't the whole reason for the lawsuit the fact that DC/Mattel were making DC Super Hero Girls action figures of Bumblebee, which may have been infringing on Hasbro having the word trademarked in that field?
     
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  9. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    [​IMG]
     
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  10. shamanking282

    shamanking282 Well-Known Member

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    Yay multi-billion dollar corporations fighting over who's allowed to use the name of an insect on toy packaging!

    Is this actually relevant to the fandom at all?
     
  11. Deadend

    Deadend Spark of Creation

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    Yay! Cause I really want to see DC's bumblebee added to the live action areas.

    Very much so. It determines a lot of marketing things later, and even whether or not eventually Transformers' Bumblebee would have to get "Autobot Bumblebee" instead.
    It was a naming snafu that Mattel should have been more careful about, but now with this settled, the future of both characters can continue to progress. Trademarks are a complicated thing in american rights, and it can mess up entire plans if they get yanked out from under, which impacts both fandoms.

    Hasbro has been fighting hard to get many names back they lost so they can drop the "autobot" or "decepticon" prefix. Bumblebee is one of the few they've been able to get back relatively quick early on, as far back as Classics.

    Yup. And the fact Mattel put "TM" after the name too. Hasbro had to challenge it, or the filing could have ended up reversed with Mattel owning the TM after Hasbro already filed for it as a character name to an action figure.

    What Mattel should have done was name it "Karen 'Bumblebee' Beecher-Duncan". Highlight her real name with the superhero name in the middle. Or something to that effect.

    But now that this is settled, I hope we see her in future WB live action stuff. She's a fun one, and I'd like to see wider toys of her made from live action appearances.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  12. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    Not so much the name as the nine different figures per character. Warrior/deluxe, warrior/deluxe recolor, TRU warrior/deluxe recolor, legion/minicon, minicon battle pack, one step, three step, crash combiner, team combiner, activator combiner, power surge, titan changer, and in some cases another big one-off. God help a kid that says they want one of the main Autobots.
     

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  13. HawaiianBro808

    HawaiianBro808 Well-Known Member

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    Bro that’s sarcasm I inserted :D  :lol 
     
  14. Calabask

    Calabask Waspinator Cultist

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    This is where it would help if we were the parents, because we'd know which Bumblebee they wanted!
     
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  15. ZapRowsdower

    ZapRowsdower Offensively Off-brand

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    This is some lawyer bullsh*t by HasBLOW. Seriously.

    There was ZERO confusion.

    For one thing, the toys couldn't be further apart in the toy section!!!! :banghead:  BB is sold to young boys; DC's Bumblebee is sold to young girls - SEPARATE TOY AISLES!!!!

    But as you guys well know, Hasbro spends a fortune on copyright, TM, and legal. This is simply a case of the legal department actually DOING something "useful". In other words, from time to time, a legal department will go after some poor schmo because it legitimizes their high salaries. :rolleyes2 

    This is Hasbro copyrighting the name before DC and then charging a ransom. The "settlement" is a fancy term for, "let's not waste more money on legal fees". Period. All this means is that DC agreed to pay the ransom in order to save on legal fees (for a case they'd most likely WIN, anyway).
     
  16. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    It's... in the news... right now... or do you mean "mainstream news", which usually don't care about comparably minor trademark disputes?

    "Date of first use" is only relevant in copyright law, trademark law doesn't care who was there "first". If you let a trademark lapse by not using it for a certain amount of time, someone else can grab it and then prevent you from using it again, even if you originally used it a million years ago.

    I wasn't aware insects are capable of human speech, lest alone using English as their default language...

    All I see is someone incapable of spelling "ridiculous" correctly, which is ridiculous in itself.

    This is factually wrong. Here are some examples of common words that are recognized as registered trademarks by the United States Patent and Trademark Office:
    "Virgin" (USPTO link)
    "Monster" (USPTO link)
    "Hammer" (USPTO link)
    "Bridge" (USPTO link)
    "Stone" (USPTO link)
    "Yellowstone" (USPTO link)

    All of these should be "impossibe" according to your logic.

    Now, the key here is that the application of a common word needs to be "arbitrary" in order to work as a trademark, in other words, its original meaning needs to be completely unrelated to the intended use. The opposite of that is a "descriptive" trademark, which has zero protection. In our example, "Bumblebee", the name of an insect, has nothing to do with the thing it is used to identify, i.e. a toy robot that turns into a car. Now if it were a toy robot that turns into an insect, Hasbro's chances of defending such a trademark would be approaching zero.

    Oooooh boy.

    Tell that to Apple Music and their lengthy history of lawsuits with Apple Computers. If those lawsuits were never possible, what have these companies been doing in court all those years?

    This is provably incorrect. Here is the USPTO record for the work mark "Apple", filed and successfully registered in 1977.

    This is also provably incorrect.

    Here are some toys simply named "Bumblebee" with a ™ claim after the name:
    Bumblebee-3_1234093962.jpg 91sMxLWRFzL._SL2000_.jpg 10151871_10152551692437726_6813652445846334633_n_1405455400_1411671026.jpg Three-Step-Bumblebee-Box.jpg Knight-Armor-Bumblebee-4.jpg Bumblebee-Card.jpg

    Oh, and RKillian posted even more examples. Thanks for backing me up there!


    I'm challenging you to show me one, just one toy released since 2006 under the name "Autobot Bumblebee". Just one. Until then, I'm calling bullshit.

    Bullshit.jpg

    Which has what relevance exactly to the thing we're discussing here... toys...?

    Once again, we're not discussing fictional characters, we're discussing toys. Hasbro has never been trying to stop DC from using its own fictional characters within the pages of comic books. Hasbro has tried to stop DC and is licensees from releasing toys under the name "Bumblebee". TOYS. T O Y S. Not comic books. Not fictional characters. How hard is that to grasp?

    Again, there has never been a single toy named "Autobot Bumblebee". When Hasbro reacquired the name back in 2006 (and really, what had stopped Hasbro from using the name before then if it couldn't be trademarked, as you claim?), they simply called their toys "Bumblebee". There have been some redecos released under names using prefixes, but none of them were necessary for trademark purposes.

    Then I guess I'm just imagining these things exist:
    91xMgqfBDUL._SL2000_.jpg dcshg-core-doll-asst-6.jpg

    Aaaaaand once again the United States Patent and Trademark Office proves you wrong:
    "Thor" trademark owned by Marvel, filed in 1972 and registered since 1973.

    Which has what to to with comic books? Once again, trademarks are always relevant to the intended goods an services. You can own a trademark for selling used car parts and someone else can own the same trademark for a restaurant chain. No problem unless you start selling food or the other party starts selling car parts. Trademarks aren't super-exclusive "one company owns the name across the board". It's always a question of "what do they use it for".

    No, for the umphtiest time, because the insect isn't in the busienss of selling toys. In fact, the insect isn't in any business at all. Trademark conflicts can only exist in commerce. If you're not using a name to identify goods or services in commerce, nobody will ever be able to sue you for trademark infringement.

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office says you're wro~ong! Here is that link for you again.

    That's right, but for a different reason than you claim: In your situation, Apple won't be able to stop the other company from using the name because Apple the computer company is not in the business of selling kitchen supplies!

    Yes there can, if both characters have toys sold under the same name.

    No, because once again, the goddamn insect is not in the business of selling goddamn toys.

    This is bullshit. Nobody is preventing anyone from using the word "bumblebee" in everyday speech. One company was trying to prevent another company from selling TOYS under the name "Bumblebee" with a ™ claim after the name. Simple as that.

    Now I might not be TaskManager whom you were replying to, but I do insist you have no idea what you're talking about and have provided plenty of evidence. I once again challenge you to provide evidence of your own. And just to make clear, your opinion or unsupported claims do not count as "evidence". Show me a single toy released by Hasbro under the name "Autobot Bumblebee" with a trademark claim after the name.

    I'm not leaving out that part. In fact, I've shown you several examples of the United States Patent and Trademark Office thinking this is possible as well! And if the USPTO doesn't know, then who does?

    Once again, we can call the insects "bumblebees" all we want because once again, THE INSECTS ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF SELLING TOYS.

    There is no such thing as "fair use" or "public domain" in trademark law. You're thinking of copyright law, which is something different entirely (although both are fields of intellectual property). Trademarks can be genericized, which is similar but not the same thing. If you're really unable to tell the difference between trademarks and copyrights, that means that yes, you really have no clue what the hell you're talking about, and there is no point in discussing with you because you are comparing Apple computers to Orange County, California.

    Funny you should mention it... Several companies (although apparently not Hasbro) have successfully registered the word "Oxygen" as a trademark:

    Here is one for bed linen, among other things.
    Here is one for computer services.
    Here is one for shampoos and body lotions, among other things.


    Oh my god! Someone gets it! Give this person a cookie!
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  17. HunterGreen2005

    HunterGreen2005 Fra-gee-lay. It must be Italian!

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    Eh, at the end of the day if you don't defend your copyright you will lose it. That's all Hasbro is doing. DC just fell into Hasbro's radar.

    If Megatron doesn't put Starscream in check when he acts out, other Decepticons (probably Ratbat), will see it as a sign of weakness and take advantage. :p 

    Give 'em an inch, they will take a mile. :eek: 
     
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  18. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Fixed that for you!
     
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  19. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    In the context of Hasbro creating more customer confusion within its own brand than DC's use could ever hope to cause, mind you...
     
  20. Deathsaurus1

    Deathsaurus1 Well-Known Member

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    Lol did you use blue text!? I feel like starscream now
     
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