Robot 6

Marvel sees red over green ‘Hulk’ power tools

Marvel has sued an Ohio power-tool manufacturer, claiming its new “Hulk” line of industrial and home equipment infringes on the publisher’s trademarks.

THR, Esq. reports that the dispute dates back to last year, when a subsidiary of Airbase Industries registered the mark. An examiner with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office in October 2009 found no conflicting marks to prevent Airbase from marketing its power tools — indeed, there are other products that carry the “Hulk” name without problem — triggering Marvel to begin an opposition proceeding.

In the meantime, Airbase rolled out its “Hulk” line, complete with a green color scheme and a … familiar … font. In a lawsuit, filed last week in Ohio Southern District Court, Marvel describes that particular shade as “confusingly similar” to the one used for its Green Goliath, and the logo as “nearly identical” to its own Hulk products. Marvel seeks an injunction, a cancellation of Airbase’s trademark, and all of the profits from the sale of the “Hulk” products.

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21 Comments

You don’t own the word hulk or the color green, Marvel. suit dismissed.

They don’t, but the fact the font is very similar, the name is very similar and the colour is similar does kind of imply trading off the name. If they’d made it, say, brown with a different font then they could have avoided this entirely, and it must have been obvious that this would happen so why not avoid it? The answer to me seems like they want to trade on brand recognition and hoping it’d outweigh the lawsuit. Either that of they wanted to annoy Marvel anyway.

Untrue, Marvel has the trademark for the term HULK http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4010:a3av6e.3.4. They can file an infringement case and win. Case ruled for the plaintiff.

green maybe not, but if you google or wiki the word “hulk” , Marvel’s Hulk comes up. It all depends whether Marvel trademarked “the Incredible Hulk” and/or “hulk”.

This is a tricky situation. Marvel doesn’t own the word “Hulk” (it was a real work before Stan Lee and Jack Kirby applied it to a certain superhero). The combination of color, font, and probably even the word “Power” on the product could qualify as trademark infringement or at least marketplace confusion. I’m guessing that Hulk power tools will have to give into Marvel.

Mysterious Stranger

October 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

I don’t believe Marvel’s case will win on whether they have the trademark or not. It will come down to whether consumers will be confused by the product and think it is in some way related to Marvel’s “Hulk”. The similarities in the font, color and usage all lead me to believe the defendant is trying to cash in on the Marvel Hulks brand recognition. If they had simply used the name and font but gone with any other color but green i don’t think Marvel would have as much of a case. But its the combination of things that sends the wrong message to consumers.

I will be shocked if Marvel doesn’t win this. I just showed that picture to three co-workers who only have a very general knowledge of Marvel’s Hulk and they all assumed it was a licensed product. I bet you could show that picture to 100 people and the first association they would make is with Marvel’s Hulk. Although I am sure it’ll be settled before it gets close to a courtroom.

Anybody think it’s a little funny that the attorney on record is named Eli Bard?

Marvel may not own the word Hulk, but prior to Bruce Banner’s first appearance, the definition of Hulk was a large ship.

Why is Eli bard funny?

Don’t forget Marvel managed to put the kibosh on Hulk Hogan for a while. He did a skit where he showed up painted in green, which got Marvel’s lawyers up in the WWF’s (or WCW’s?) grill. I think that’s the reason Hulk had to go as Hollywood Hogan for a while.

One thing to remember is that it’s probably not Marvel’s lawyers going up against this small (?) business, it’s Disney’s legal team now.

In the end, I’d imagine the company will change the name and/or color of the products.

So I can’t use a spider and webs on my cans of red and blue colored bug spray? Bullshit.

This is not the same product category of Marvel or Disney. They are not siphoning profits from Marvel. the copyrights of Hulk only protects them in the realm of their own industry.

Why do you think the patent office allowed this in the first place? This is just some lawyer, trying to justify his position by looking for these perceived infringements. It’s rampant in corparations.. People that really do nothing, better come up with actionable plans committees or what not.

This has no effect on Marvels profits.

Here is HULK power tools, why isn’t marvel suing them?

http://www.toolprice.com/product/7722R/?fl=pop_prod_images&wrapper=~popup

The reason why Marvel is suing (and the reason it will probably win) is because people are going to look at giant green power tools in the shade of the Incredible Hulk and think of Marvel’s Hulk. They were allowed to use the name “Hulk”, but that doesn’t allow them to piggyback onto Marvel’s intellectual property. I don’t see how they don’t win that unless someone can honestly come to the conclusion that this tool company innocently stumbled upon that shade of green.

“This is not the same product category of Marvel or Disney. They are not siphoning profits from Marvel. the copyrights of Hulk only protects them in the realm of their own industry.”

Wrong. Let’s say a power tool company came to Marvel and said “We want to license your Hulk character for our new sandblaster.” Marvel may agree if the price is right. It also misleads consumers into thinking that this is a Marvel licensed product. Which it isn’t.

They also shouldn’t be allowed to use certain shades of gray or red or blue. Pink or GTFO.

“This is not the same product category of Marvel or Disney. They are not siphoning profits from Marvel. the copyrights of Hulk only protects them in the realm of their own industry”.

Except of course, that Disney has an unbelievably sized consume products division that licenses out use of their copyright for all sorts of things. So yes, profits are being siphoned away. Soz babes x

What about Marvel Mystery Oil?

http://www.marvelmysteryoil.com/

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