I’m sure Batman hopes he has something on his utility belt that will pop the tires of this electric car. DC Comics is opposing the registration for the mark GOTHAM for electric vehicles claiming that it is confusingly similar with its GOTHAM mark.
Of course Gotham City, is the home town of one, Bruce Wayne, and has been such since Batman was first introduced in 1939. DC Comics does not own a trademark registration for Gotham but claims common law use of the GOTHAM trademark; DC Comics does own registrations for the terms GOTHAM GARAGE, GOTHAM GIRLS, GOTHAM CITY, GOTHAM CENTRAL and GOTHAM KNIGHTS. Further, DC Comics licensed television show Gotham features Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne taking on a rogues gallery of younger villains.
DC Comics use of the mark GOTHAM is well-known but “gotham” has some generic meanings as well. Gotham is a famous nickname for New York City. According to the New York Public Library, the word “gotham” actually dates back to medieval England. English proverbs speak of a village called Gotham or Gottam, meaning “Goat’s Town”. The goat was considered to be a foolish animal so Gotham was a city of fools…or an alternative theory is Gotham’s citizens only played like they were fools to avoid the wrath of the king. Later, the term “gotham” was even used to describe a print font.
Cenntro Automotive Group is an emerging automotive company based out of Nevada that produces electric compact utility vehicles. Currently, the company produces the vehicle branded as the Metro, an all electric compact utility vehicle that used for such things as city service and delivery, campus maintenance, and park services. The Metro provides up to 200 miles on a charge, no noise, tops out at 50 miles per hour and can be modified for many different services such as street sweeping.
In March 2015, Cenntro filed is trademark registration application for the term GOTHAM in a class that covers electric cars, electric motorcycles and even electric locomotives. This is an intent to use application so the mark is not yet in use but we can only assume this is a new model of the vehicle that is in the planning stages.
DC Comics has formally opposed the registration of the trademark arguing that people are likely to wrongfully associate Cenntro’s mark with its GOTHAM mark and DC Comics when there is no relationship between the two. So would you as a driver of a fine electric car that bears the mark GOTHAM confuse it with DC Comics’ GOTHAM? That is the question posed in the request to get this trademark registered. Cenntro, if it chooses to fight, will need to show that the public would not confuse the two in order to permit the registration. The parties are free to work out some kind of settlement or its off to the races with this trademark battle.