People ask me all the time if a lawyer is actually needed to file a trademark registration. This trademark application is the exact reason why my answer to that question is, yes. DC Comics is fighting a registration for the Harley Quinn related DADDY'S LIL MONSTER trademark cause...well, they already own it.

Sure, you can go and file a trademark registration application by yourself. The Trademark Office's website is not user friendly but you can eventually figure it out. However, just because you can file it on your own, doesn't mean you should. When you hire an attorney to do a trademark registration, they should first perform a trademark clearance. A trademark clearance is a search to see if there are any unregistered or registered trademarks in use that would block a registration. Also, this could save you from getting sued if you use said confusingly similar trademark. Not all people want to do this and we have a prime example of what not to do here.

Holly Rawlison of NYC on July 9, 2019 (a great day, my birthday) filed her own trademark registration for an intent to use mark DADDY'S LIL MONSTER. She filed the trademark in her own name and not a company...not advisable...and she also put herself as "President". I guess this means she is the President of herself since she did not file the mark in the name of an actual company.

If she sought the advice of counsel, they would have told her there are a couple of roadblocks to registration. One, DC Comics is widely using the mark in association with Harley Quinn, a comic character first appearing on the Batman: The Animated Series in the 1992. Second, and a small one, DC Comics already has a registered trademark for the phrase. While the mark is in a different class, makeup as opposed to clothing merchandise, there is bound to be some confusion. And bound to be a very wealthy company that is going to fight the registration of the mark. That is exactly what happened.

DC Comics has opposed the issuance of the mark leaving Ms. Rawlison is quite the pickle. She can now try to oppose the opposition and fight for the mark or walk away. She can try to handle these things by herself but would be wise to hire an attorney. She could have saved a lot more funds by just hiring an attorney in the first place who told her that the mark was a bad idea.

We will watch this one to see what happens. But this trademark registration will wind up being crushed by an oversized mallet.