13 August 2018Trademarks

Marvel mulls Black Panther cryptocurrency TM opposition

Disney’s subsidiary Marvel Characters appears to be investigating whether to oppose two trademark applications which feature similarities to the name of fictional country Wakanda.

In August, Marvel Characters (which holds licences for comic book characters including Black Panther and Spider-Man) filed requests to extend the time to oppose ‘Wacoinda’ and ‘Wakanda Wine Fest’ at the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Wakanda, a fictional country located in Sub-Saharan Africa, is the home of superhero Black Panther. The 2018 film “ Black Panther” grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide.

‘Wacoinda’ was applied for by Kentucky-based Wilsondom to cover cryptocurrency education services in class 41 and the provision of a virtual currency in class 36.

Filed in February this year by Texas-based Davon Hatchett, ‘Wakanda Wine Fest’ covers education wine classes and wine tastings in class 41.

Now, Marvel has until November to decide whether to oppose the two trademarks.

Marvel currently owns the trademark ‘Wakanda’ in class 28, which covers games and collectable toy figures, and ‘World of Wakanda’, covering class 16 for comic books.

Marvel is no stranger to protecting its IP—the comic book company, along with rival DC Comics, was involved in a case centring on the word ‘Superhero’. After a two-and-a-half-year legal battle, Marvel and DC admitted defeat against a UK businessman for commercial reasons.

Earlier this year, comic book creator Stan Lee dropped a $1 billion lawsuit against his former company over his claims that executives at POW Entertainment had conspired to “steal” his name and likeness.

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