Little has been made of Marvel’s decision to sell Marvelman T-shirts on its website (although sadly not outside the US or Canada… ooh I hope that’s not a precursor to something) That’s a flagpole in the sand, a bold statement saying anyone who wants to launch a trademark or copyright battle, this is what you go for, a T-Shirt, come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough. And as we all know of trademark law, it’s a use-it-or-lose it. Marvel have made their intention to sell Marvelman comics clear and they are actually selling Marvelman T-shirts now.
Maybe it’s time to hit the paperwork?
Marvel Characters, Inc filed three trademark registrations on July 24th, 2009, one day before Marvel’s annoucement of Marvelman. You know, I said this was up to the wire, didn’t I?
What do they cover? Well… Bicycle helmets; Computer game cartridges; Computer game discs; Computer game programs; Computer game software; Interactive multimedia computer game program; Interactive video game programs; Interactive video games of virtual reality comprised of computer hardware and software; Pre-recorded CDs, video tapes, laser disks and DVDs featuring music and/or live action programs or motion pictures or animated cartoons; Sunglasses; Video game cartridges; Video game discs; Video game software, Albums for stickers; Albums for trading cards; Arts and craft paint kits; Book covers; Bumper stickers; Calendars; Children’s activity books; Children’s books; Color pencils; Coloring books; Comic books; Comic strips; Decals; Greeting cards; Magazines featuring printed stories in illustrated form and comic book stories and artwork; Notebooks; Paper party decorations; Paper party favors; Pen and pencil cases and boxes; Pencils; Picture books; Posters; Printed periodicals in the field of comic book stories and artwork; Printed visuals in the nature of comic book stories and artwork; Role playing game equipment in the nature of game book manuals; School supply kits containing various combinations of selected school supplies, namely, writing instruments, pens, pencils, mechanical pencils, erasers, markers, crayons, highlighters, folders, notebooks, paper, protractors, paper clips, pencil sharpeners, writing grips, glue and book marks; Series of fiction books; Stationery; Stickers; Story books; Trading cards, Action figures and accessories therefor; Arcade games; Balloons; Balls for games; Battery operated action toys; Bean bag dolls; Bendable toys; Board games; Bobble head dolls; Card games; Chess sets; Children’s multiple activity toys; Christmas tree decorations; Coin-operated video games; Dolls and accessories therefor; Flying discs; Game tables; Hand held unit for playing video games; Inflatable bop bags; Inflatable pools for recreational use; Inflatable toys; Jigsaw puzzles; Jump ropes; Kites; Mechanical action toys; Pinball games; Pinball-type games; Playing cards; Playsets for use with toy action figures and for make believe play battle or adventure activities; Plush toys; Puppets; Radio controlled toy vehicles; Role playing games; Roller skates; Rubber balls; Snow boards; Snow sleds for recreational use; Soft sculpture toys; Stuffed toy animals; Surf boards; Surf fins; Swim boards for recreational use; Swim fins; Target games; Toy action figures and accessories therefor; Toy masks; Toy model hobbycraft kits; Toy vehicles; Toy watches; Toy weapons; Water squirting toys; Yo-yos, Belts; Caps; Coats; Gloves; Halloween costumes; Halloween costumes and masks sold in connection therewith; Hats; Headbands; Jackets; Masquerade costumes and masks sold in connection therewith; Overalls; Pants; Rainwear; Robes; Sandals; Scarves; Shirts; Shoes; Shorts; Slacks; Sleeping garments; Sneakers; Socks; Suspenders; Sweat pants; Sweat shirts; Swim wear; T-shirts; Ties; Underwear; Vests; Visors
But what of Miracleman, the character’s Eclipse name to avoid such trademark disputes with Marvel?
Well there’s something interesting here. There are three abandoned trademarks for clothing, comics, posters and toys by Todd McFarlane productions begun in October 27th 1997 and abandoned February 26th 2000, and a live application made July 11, 2001 for Miracleman comics,posters, clothing and toys, challenged by both the Neil Gaiman set-up company Marvels & Miracles LLC and… A & H Sportswear.
That’s A & H Sportswear Co of Pennsylvania, creators of the Miraclesuit made with Miratext fabric that tucks in the the tummy when you hit the beach and/or pool. And they have their own trademark for Miracleman set up for jeans and swimwear from May 20th this year.
And a really good reason to put a woman in a bathing suit on this blog entry detailing dull trademark stuff. Thank you A & H Sportswear Co of Pennsylvania!