Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Hasbro takes legal action in trademark dispute

New Jersey comic fans might be interested in a trademark dispute involving Hasbro, Warner Bros. and DC Comics. Hasbro is the owner of the Transformers brand, and it claims that Warner Bros. and DC have committed trademark infringement. Specifically, Hasbro claims that a DC character named Bumblebee could be confused with the Autobot also named Bumblebee. The character created by DC is a teenage girl who has the ability to shrink.

The Bumblebee character is set to be part of a Transformers spin-off that is scheduled to be released in time for Christmas 2018. According to Hasbro, it has been selling Bumblebee toys since 1983, and it has been selling toy sets consisting of blocks since 2011. Records indicate that Hasbro applied for a trademark for the name Bumblebee in July 2015 and that the trademark was registered in December 2015.

Hasbro seeks to put an end to sales of a Bumblebee toy made by Mattel as part of a Super Hero Girls set. The company may also take action against DC because of a Bumblebee Lego set. A Super Hero Girls television show began airing in October 2015 featuring characters such as Harley Quinn during their teenage years. The DC character Bumblebee was first seen in a 1977 edition of "Teen Titans".

If a person or company believes that trademark infringement has taken place, it is important to raise the issue as soon as possible. In some cases, trademarks may be ruled invalid or their value otherwise eroded if they are not defended. An attorney can review a case to determine if a person or company's rights have been violated. If so, it may be possible to seek monetary damages or otherwise compel an infringing party to cease its illegal activities.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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