Superhero puts fitness company in its place in trademark battle28/05/2019 - Author: admin - Comments are closed
Superman: Trademarked tighter than his lycra suit.He’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, can leap tall buildings in a bound, and now Superman has claimed victory in a Federal Court case.
High up in the towering law courts in Sydney, DC Comics went to fight for Superman’s good name, appealing a decision allowing a fitness company to register ”superman workout” as a trademark.
Justice Annabelle Bennett on Wednesday found in favour of the superhero, ordering the application for Cheqout to use Superman’s name be refused.
The case went deep into Superman’s history, dealing with everything from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s ”Ubermensch”, the original comic strip character from 1938 to a mysterious earlier figure by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster who was actually a villain.
Justice Bennett considered several meanings of the word ”superman”, including the Macquarie Dictionary’s definition, which refers to Nietzsche’s concept of ”an ideal human being who by virtue of greater spiritual powers rises above the usual notions of good and evil”.
This definition also lists the character introduced in the comics, while the Oxford English Dictionary describes ”an almost invincible superhero having the power to fly and typically depicted wearing a tight blue suit with a red cape”.
The judge found that when Cheqout applied to use the trademark last July, it did so in ”bad faith”, having used ”Superman” with a shield symbol and the colours red, white and blue.
In July a delegate for the Registrar of Trade Marks ruled there would be no confusion between the workout classes and Superman because DC Comics itself had never conducted fitness clinics.
DC Comics appealed on the grounds that ”superman workout” would be ”likely to deceive or cause confusion”, and that Superman had ”acquired a reputation” in Australia.
Justice Bennett concluded: ”I am satisfied that at the date of application for the trademark, Cheqout’s conduct fell short of the standards of acceptable commercial behaviour observed by reasonable and experienced persons.”
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