Deep thought of the day, if Batman’s sidekick name was spelled “Robyn”, would we take the superhero so seriously? DC Comics is fighting Rihanna’s attempt to register a trademark for her real name ROBYN claiming it is confusingly similar to its ROBIN trademark.
Fun fact: Rihanna’s real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. Back at home in Barbados, her friends know her as Robyn and the singer claims that “Robyn” is who she is and “Rihanna” is “an idea” of who she is. Makes total sense. Rihanna, or as us good friends apparently call her, Robyn, owns a company, Roraj Trade LLC that owns the trademarks associated with her businesses like her cosmetics and perfume line. In June 2014, Roraj Trade filed a trademark registration application for the term ROBYN used for “providing on-line non-downloadable general feature magazines”. So it appears Rihanna wants to use her real name in association with some online magazine.
DC Comics has its own Robin, of course. Batman’s sidekick first appeared way back in 1939 and since that time, the Dynamic Duo have had an on and off relationship but DC Comics still uses the character and trademark to this day. In 1984, DC Comics received a trademark registration for ROBIN for action figures and in 1995 received another for comic books. DC Comics use of the ROBIN trademark is well established and DC Comics has invested a lot of time and money establishing the character and the trademark.
On Monday, DC Comics formally opposed Rihanna’s attempt to register her ROBYN trademark. DC Comics claims that Rihanna has had full knowledge of DC Comic’s trademark and is trying to use a mark that is in sight, sound and commercial impression virtually identical to DC Comic’s trademark. DC Comics argues that because of the similarity between the marks, consumers are likely to associate the goods and services provided by Rihanna under the ROBYN trademark with DC Comics’ ROBIN, when there is no association between the two. DC Comics further claims that Rihanna is trading off the enormous goodwill associated with the ROBIN trademark and diluting its distinctiveness.
If DC Comics and Rihanna are unable to reach an agreement to peacefully coexist they will fight it out before the Trademark Office to see if the ROBYN mark gets registered. So the question is left to the mind of the average consumer, if you saw ROBYN on an Internet magazine would you confuse it with Batman’s ROBIN? To be continued….
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