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Batman wins EU trade mark dispute with Italian designer

Taken from | Author: Foo Yun Chee | Date: 7 June 2023

Caped crusader Batman won a trade mark fight with an Italian clothing retailer on Wednesday after Europe's second-top court sided with an EU patent office, ruling that the Batman logo is distinctive enough to warrant its EU trade mark.

Warner Bros Discovery's (WBD.O) DC Comics, which registered the Batman logo with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) more than two decades ago, faced a challenge from Commerciale Italiana Srl in 2019.

The Italian company had asked EUIPO to annul the trade mark for clothing and carnival items, saying that it lacked a distinctive character.

After EUIPO rejected its application, Commerciale Italiana Srl took its grievance to the Luxembourg-based General Court. Judges backed the EU trade mark body.

"The evidence submitted to the General Court is not sufficient to show that the EU trade mark representing a bat in an oval surround was devoid of distinctive character on the date of filing of the application for registration," the Court ruled.

"For the relevant public, that distinctiveness makes it possible to associate, according to EUIPO, the goods covered by the trade mark with DC Comics and to distinguish them from those of other undertakings."

The Italian company can appeal to the EU Court of Justice, Europe's highest, on points of law.

The case is T-735/21 | Aprile and Commerciale Italiana v EUIPO – DC Comics (Representation of a bat in an oval surround).

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