She-Hulk Fights Trademark Action – Trademark

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Even Superheroes Face Branding Issues: This Is The Takeaway From Episode 5 Of The New TV Series She-Hulk: Lawyer (available in the UK on Disney+).

The series, created by Jessica Gao based on the Marvel Comics character and starring Tatiana Maslany, tells the story of Jennifer Walters, a Los Angeles lawyer who can transform into the superhero She-Hulk.

Over the course of the series, Jennifer/She-Hulk (head of the law firm Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzburg, and Holliway’s “superhuman law division”) fights with and against rival superheroes, both in the courtroom and with his superpowers. One of them is Titania (played by Jameela Jamil).

In episode five, written by Dana Schwartz, She-Hulk discovers that Titania has filed a trademark for SHEHULK and successfully launched a line of beauty and wellness products. Titania also sent a cease and desist letter to Jennifer’s home.

However, as She-Hulk and her trademark attorney soon realize, they have a problem: She-Hulk has no prior trademark registration, that’s not her real name, and she was never even very enthusiastic about it (she blames “some guy on the news” for creating the pseudonym).

The episode therefore sees them trying to demonstrate that she was using the She-Hulk name professionally before Titania launched her brand, leading to some uncomfortable testimonies during a tense courtroom confrontation ( no spoilers!).

A common problem

She-Hulk: Lawyer is a story about sorcery, space travel, and superheroes, so we probably shouldn’t take it too seriously. But episode five identifies a common problem that many people and businesses face: finding out that someone else is using “their” brand. And it also identifies some of the challenges that arise when trying to solve this problem.

The problem is particularly common in industries such as fashion and cosmetics, where so much goodwill is attached to a designer or celebrity name, but we also see it in relation to shops, restaurants, the sports and many other industries. Problems often arise when a designer licenses or sells the use of their name to another party and then loses control of it – as happened to the designer of Princess Diana’s wedding dress, Elizabeth Emanuel (Elizabeth Florence Emanuel v Continental Shelf 128 Ltd).

In the United States, where the series first aired, there have already been many comments on this episode covering everything from the choice of superhero names to the legal analysis of the She-Hulk/Titania dispute. . The battle between the two has even spilled over to social media.

So maybe it’s worth asking: how would the dispute play out in the UK and the EU?

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