A church project has turned into a trademark tussle. You may think the mark SUPERHERO is generic but Marvel and DC Comics do not and may be readying their opposition to one tasty, and religious, trademark, SUPERHERO DONUTS.
In January 2015, an Oklahoma based company, aptly called Superhero Donuts, LLC, filed for registration of the SUPERHERO DONUTS trademark.  The company is the brainchild of two young children as part of a church project. Per the superherodonuts.com website, the licensing costs from Marvel is too expensive so the two entrepreneurial brothers are basing their donuts off of superheroes from the bible such as Jesus and Samson. Donuts could not get more “holy” than these ones (yuck yuck). This is an intent to use registration for the use of the trademark on coffee, donuts and baked goods. Now, I’m starving.
SUPER HERO is a trademark that most people think is generic, like KLEENEX or XEROX, but it is not. DC Comics and Marvel, much to the chagrin of many creators, are the owners of both the SUPER HERO and SUPER HEROES marks. These marks seem to becoming more and more generic but that is not stopping the comic book companies from enforcing their rights. The two comic book giants routinely oppose most trademark applications that contain the mark. The more a trademark becomes generic, the less protection it is entitled to; this is why Marvel and DC Comics are so vigilant in fighting the unauthorized use of the mark.
Marvel and DC Comics’ have been granted an extension of time and its opposition to the SUPERHERO DONUTS trademark is due on August 29th. The companies need to decide whether to take on the biblical donut-loving superheroes or let the registration go through. The applicants might want to look out because they could be sued for trademark infringement for using the SUPERHERO mark in the name of their business and in its domain name as well.
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