Robot 6

Toy company sues Stan Lee and Archie Comics over Super Seven trademark

Stan Lee's "Super Seven"

Stan Lee's "Super Seven"

A toy manufacturer and distributor claims Stan Lee, POW! Entertainment, Archie Comics, A Squared Entertainment and others violated its trademark with the new multimedia series Super Seven — after two of the companies promised they wouldn’t.

Announced in February, Super Seven is a planned comics, animation and online property about seven aliens whose spaceship crashes on Earth, where they’re befriended by Lee and resume their lives as superheroes.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in San Francisco federal court, Super7 says its attorney contacted A Squared Entertainment and Lee’s POW! Entertainment in March to point out its longstanding trademarks and warn them not to violate those rights. In a response received later that month, the toymaker was reportedly assured the companies “have decided to move in a different direction and are in the process of developing another mark for their products.” In another letter, in early June, Super7 was told the companies planned to trademark “Stan Lee and the Super Seven.” The toymaker’s counsel responded the name was still too similar and “would be likely to confuse consumers,” and invited the attorney for the two companies to contact Super7 “to discuss the matter further.”

The plaintiff claims it heard nothing more on the matter until last month when, during Comic-Con International in San Diego, Stan Lee and executives from Archie Comics and A Squared Entertainment announced Super Seven will launch later this year.

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, a judgment ordering Lee and his co-defendants to stop using Super7′s trademark, and the destruction of all prints, packaging and advertisements bearing the names “Super Seven” or “Stan Lee and the Super Seven.”

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This toy company will be doing everyone a huge favor if they stop Archie and friends from going ahead with this latest piece of garbage from Stan (the con man) Lee. I hope their lawsuit is completely successful–as, from the info presented here, it sounds like it should be.

If there is enough differentiation of the product…. Ie STAN LEE’s Super Seven, then this seems frivolous.

probably more akin to Super7 trying to make a bit of easy publicity.

Why the hate against Stan?

Does it matter?

August 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Paul Nolan wrote :
> If there is enough differentiation of the product….
> Ie STAN LEE’s Super Seven, then this seems frivolous.

That is the most absurd thing I’ve ever read. So Pepsi can go ahead and market a drink called “Pepsi’s Coca Cola”? Or how about if Marvel published a new book entitled “Brian Bendis’ Superman”?

Whether there’s a “Stan Lee’s” in front of the name or not, this company went through a lot of trouble to brand the name “Super 7″ and it has every right to protect it.

We all saw what happened when the World Wrestling Federation went ahead using the name WWF despite the fact that no one would confuse a panda bear with a pro wrestler : the courts ordered the wrestling company to lay off the WWF name. They lost millions just going over their entire library of DVDs to censor every single mention or visual sighting of the WWF name and logo.

Stan Lee would do well to back the **** off and put that ego back in his pants.

It seems like the store would be HAPPY to have the similarity. Honestly, who’s ever heard of them BEFORE this? Stan Lee would be HELPING this store by having his product’s name seem to be associated with it.

And as far as the WWF goes, the courts did order the WWF to stop using “WWF,” however this was in 2000. For 21 years both World Wrestling Federation and the World Wildlife Foundation used the same abbreviation with no problems. And I doubt that anyone looking for information on pandas, as you say, was confused.

Your argument saying “Pepsi’s Coca Cola” doesn’t quite work. It is Pepsi Cola and Coca-Cola, both are something’s Cola. Super7 and Stan Lee’s Super Seven aren’t even the same thing.

So what was the deal behind Millar calling his Nemesis “Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis” and not being sued by DC?

The only “Super Seven” I ever heard of was an old Filmation series. Maybe Lou Scheimer should get involved?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7SodgHhG00

and this Super7 is a shop with ONE store in SF.

Its ludicrous to think that Stan Lees Super Seven would ever be confused or mixed up.

and have they sued the other owners of the name Super 7 (or Seven) across the united states. of which there are at least another 2 LIVE.

re: shadow wing: i was an animator/layout artist on that ‘tarzan and the super 7′ series, (under my real name, natch!) and trust me: lou s. is an old friend of mine who consults on some of my projects and trust me: if he didn’t raise a fuss about disney doing ‘rescue rangers’ after his ‘lassie’s rescue rangers’ or whoever did a ‘freedom force’ comic after our ‘isis and the…..’, ANYone doing anything with the term ‘super 7′ wouldn’t bother him in the least…..he’s past all that now. or, as he’d say if he was here” let’s you and him fight!” (lol)

Let’s see… There is a computer company named Apple. And a record label named Apple. They seem to co-exist just fine (okay after a lawsuit or two, but they still co-exist independently).

Intresting. One store who sells japanese items ( expensive new stuff, over expensive old stuff ) and most likely is lucky to pay the rent decides they have the muscle to sue because they think seven is to close to 7. They haven’t a case if they think super is in their favor. I have to admit Stan Lee hasn’t had a original idea since before many of you out there. Oh well.

jack schnerk: At the risk of making you feel old, thanks for some happy moments of my childhood. (Even discussed Tarzan at my site.) I was joking about Lou getting in on the action, of course, but I think he has a stronger case than the store owner.

Art_Toy_Collector

August 10, 2010 at 5:44 am

You people who are uninformed should read.
S7 has 2 stores and is backed with the respect of a very well known Japanese toy company “Secret Base”.
Ever heard of Andy Shroeder AKA: PUSHEAD?
his toys can sell in the after market for up to 2-4K so Super7 is not some nickel and dime operation. Those people have put years of their lives into building the only American/Japanese art toy company in the world. Furthermore the people who collect have spent literally tens of thousands on their collections as these toys are made in very small runs and are increasingly more difficult to aquire as the art toy bug hits people. Super7 didn’t spend the time trademarking and patenting their name so the great Stan Lee can say F U and steal their identity after his people claimed they wouldn’t. I hope S7 wins against The Man because that’s who Stan really works for now, he is just a figure head for a multi-million dollar comic/movie syndicate.

Super 7 is indeed pretty large in the toy collector world. They have a huge presence at ComiCon, and I think probably debuted more exclusives and new toys than any other art toy maker in attendance. In the grand scheme of things are they small? Yes, but that doesn’t make their claim to the mark any weaker. They have been trading under this mark for years and they are obligated to defend it.

And yes, when I heard about this originally I thought the book had something to do with Super 7 – though after seeing no mention of it through Super 7 themselves I thought, “Oof, sounds like a trademark suit waiting to happen”.

“So what was the deal behind Millar calling his Nemesis “Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis” and not being sued by DC?”

Trademarks protect products not characters, which is why DC and marvel can both have a Scarecrow (for example).

If DC’s Nemesis had his own comic (a product) then Millar would have to rename him comic but as far as I know Nemesis was never a product name only a character appearing in other books.

@art_toy_collector

have they Sued “Steve Clarkson Super Seven” who has a live trademark and even sell similar apparel?

how about los Super Seven who have used the tm for 6 years previous to Super7?

or even Super Sevens who have used the Tm for 7 years previous to that?

Stan Lee never had an original idea before, so why start now?
The only way he’s going to, is if he can somehow re-animate the corpse of Jack Kirby, and get him to think up some new stuff. Then take credit for it.

Art_Toy_Collector

August 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

@Paul Nolan

Why would S7 sue? Those other companies aren’t treading in the same industry base as Stan Lee’s companies are. In fact, not one of the companies you mentioned are involved in the same conventions or markets and don’t feed from the same customer base. Just the fact in the article saying “have decided to move in a different direction and are in the process of developing another mark for their products.” says they know their wrong or they would have just said nothing in response. With so many different name options in the world why are such large companies even trying to fight this. Pick a new name and move on.

I pointed out one in my previous post…

Art_Toy_Collector

August 10, 2010 at 11:34 am

Nice try but S7 isn’t in the apparel business. This is all about markets and while S7 does sell their own t-shirts and what-nots that doesn’t make them an apparel company or listed as such. Disney sells clothes also but they aren’t a clothier. So does almost any self promoting company. Hence my last post.
I would suggest learning a bit more about how trademarks and patents are categorized.

@Kid Kyoto

I was confused. It was Eagle that had a Nemesis title, not DC. DC did have a Nemesis mini series that was released around the time Millar’s Nemesis was released – “Nemesis: The Imposters” so I think that’s where I got confused. Even there, DC didn’t use the name “Nemesis” outright. They added “The Imposters” to make it theirs. I guess Eagle doesn’t care either way.

I was just wondering if putting “Millar & McNiven” before the words “Nemesis” makes it a new property. If that’s the case, putting “Stan Lee” over “Super Seven” would create a “new” item.

@art_toy_collector

not in the apparel business….? whats this? http://super7store.com/apparel.html

and Super7 have the following tradmarked according to their listing

IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: MAGAZINE featuring all aspects of the Japanese Toy Culture. FIRST USE: 20030303. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20030303

IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: CLOTHING FOR MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN NAMELY; KNIT AND WOVEN SHIRTS, BLOUSES, TEE SHIRTS, SWEATERS, JACKETS, VESTS, PANTS, SLACKS, SHORTS AND SKIRTS, SWIMWEAR, AND FOOTWEAR; EXERCISE PANTS, EXERCISE SHORTS, JEANS, POLO SHIRTS, SOCKS, GLOVES, MITTENS, HATS, AND CAPS. FIRST USE: 20030303. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20030303

IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: TOYS NAMELY COLLECTIBLE ACTION FIGURES. FIRST USE: 20030303. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20030303

it might be me, but i don’t see any claim to books or comics

@Andrew

Just so you know, the Nemesis character featured in “The Imposters” first appeared in DC Comics roughly 30 years ago. “The Imposters” was just a title, not some attempt by DC to “make [the Nemesis name] theirs”–Tom Tresser, aka Nemesis, has already been “theirs” for three decades.

As witnessed by Super7′s presence at Comic Con the toy and comic businesses overlapping the title will dilute the brand that Super7 has built for itself. This to the point where when Stan Lee’s comic bombs it could taint the toy company’s image.

Art_Toy_Collector

August 10, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Ok gloves off. Do you understand a generic patent holding a trademarked image? Of course if your selling any clothing with your companies image or likeness you use a generic patent just in case the company may want to have socks made or something. This absolutely does not make S7 a clothier. As I said before, do you think Disney is a clothier? But you can bet your bottom dollar they have patented all and any type of clothing their images may be used on. Why? Because that’s smart business.

If you had a business degree maybe this would make sense to you. Seeing you regurgitate the same thing over and over shows you cannot comprehend this aspect of the real business world.

Smashing my soap box, I’m done with this childish back and forth.

Courts tend to decide these things based on whether there would be “confusion in the marketplace.” So Minute Mouse and Minute Rice can exist without one confusing a cartoon with food. But two comic products? Much trickier.
A court ruled that the logo for NBC (an N) was too similar to Nebraska Public TV. So the size of the earlier Super 7 is rather irrelevant.

I’m surprised that Super 7 would go out of its way to do sue. They infringe on other people’s creative property all the time – unlicensed TRON shirts, anyone?

Is a lawsuit against Noonbory and the Super 7 pending as well?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noonbory_and_the_Super_Seven

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