21 September 2016Trademarks

Whataburger in ‘friendly’ trademark beef with DC Comics

Burger chain Whataburger has engaged with DC Comics in a “friendly trademark discussion” over the redesign of Wonder Woman’s logo.

According to the chain restaurant, the redesign of Wonder Woman’s stacked W logo is similar to Whataburger’s ‘Flying W’ trademark, which it has used since 1972.

Wonder Woman is a fictional superhero who has appeared in DC's comic books since the 1940s.

In addition to the similarities between the logos, Whataburger claimed that the redesign has been accompanied by nine new trademark applications.

Because these applications cover a more substantial list of goods and services than just comic books, including a variety of food and beverage products, Whataburger has “opened a dialogue” with the comic book publisher.

“While Whataburger noted Wonder Woman’s registration of her prior stacked W logo as a trademark in 1985, it did so without a great deal of concern given the version of Wonder Woman’s logo at that time was somewhat different than Whataburger’s Flying W logo, and in particular because Wonder Woman’s logo was registered for comic books, not food, beverages or restaurant services,” said a spokesperson for the burger chain.

The spokesperson said that Whataburger expects a positive discussion, which will “allow Wonder Woman to continue to focus her efforts on keeping planet Earth safe”.

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