Once a year, I head out to the IACC (International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition) and INTA (International Trademark Association) annual meetings. And can I tell you, you haven’t experienced life until you spend more than a week hanging out and “conferencing” with trademark attorneys…the good times never stop. This year the meeting is being held in Orlando, FL and I will be providing conference updates on Twitter. In the meantime, since I will be too busy schmoozing with a bunch of attorneys in Goofy costumes, I am turning the blog over to some up-and-coming legal minds.Charles Coulter’s first column about The Killing Joke was met with such universal praise that we brought him back for another round.

Image of DC logo historySometimes, a company needs a rebranding phase every decade or so to stay hip and trendy with their audience. Well, DC has needed to rebrand three times in the past 11 years. The new logo, featured above, was announced earlier this week to replace their last logo created in 2012, which to many fans felt was a little too “corporate.” The most important part of your brand is protecting it, and DC has been taking some risky moves with their new mark.

How risky, you say? Well, for starters, they haven’t registered their new logo trademark with the USPTO yet. DC may consider themselves too-big-to-fail in litigation, but every company should take the appropriate steps to protect their specific logos, words, appearances, names, titles, and phrases. Listing it as protected on a company website is simply not good enough, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If another company were to beat you to the punch, you may lose the rights to ownership of your creations, and be forced onto a long, expensive path of litigation to retrieve them. Protect yourself, before you wreck yourself.

As we have told you before, there are many reasons to register your trademark:

- Puts the public on constructive notice of the ownership to the work. - Stops others from using the mark. - Registered marks have perceived high value and may increase the value of your business. - Creates a legal presumption of the registrant’s ownership of the mark. - Creates a legal presumption of the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration. - The ability to bring certain legal actions concerning the mark in Federal Court. - The use of the United States registration forms a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries. - With a registration, the United Stares Customs Service can prevent importation of infringing foreign goods. - With a registration you can call a knockoff product a “counterfeit” if it is a same class and request statutory damages up to $2 million per mark counterfeited.
Use this guide (and an attorney) to get your company on the fast-track for the best kind of success: protected success.

So, what does Morrison/Lee think of the new DC logo? We like it. We have an affinity for the ‘76 and ’05 logos, but we’re certainly pleased with the retro look. Look for the new DC logo when it hits shelves on May 25th, on the cover of the conveniently named “DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1.”