(JustPatriots.com)- In a last-ditch effort to stop manufacturing giant Unilever from launching its new Wonder Mum cosmetics brand, Wonder Woman creator DC Comics has appealed the ruling of the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to the High Court in London.
In June, the IPO granted Unilever permission to register the Wonder Mum trademark despite DC Comics’ allegation of copyright infringement.
DC Comics maintained that customers will assume the cosmetic products, including soaps, perfumes, and shampoo, are linked to its Wonder Woman superhero and would “tarnish” Wonder Woman’s brand.
In its ruling, the IPO determined that Wonder Mum wasn’t similar enough to Wonder Woman to threaten the character’s unique copyright or global reputation.
IPO Hearing Officer Judi Pike said since Wonder Woman is an action superhero while Wonder Mum reflects a “mainly British mother” who raised her children well, there were no confusing similarities between the two.
So DC Comics appealed the decision at the High Court in London, arguing the IPO’s ruling is “perverse and unreasonable.”
During a hearing before a judge last Friday, attorney Jonathan Moss, who is representing DC Comics told the High Court that the Intellectual Property Office decision was flawed due to legal and factual errors. He said the IPO should have ruled that Unilever’s Wonder Mum brand would erode Wonder Woman’s “incredibly well-known” name, reputation, and goodwill.
Unilever’s attorney Denise McFarland argued that the risk of the public confusing the two characters is non-existent in large part because of Wonder Woman’s “distinctive and unvarying features” including her “minimalistic” iconic costume. McFarland said if DC Comics’ arguments about “conceptual similarity” are correct, then phrases like “Wonder Aunt” and “Wonder Niece” would also have to be prohibited.
DC Comics has a history of launching outrageous trademark infringement complaints.
In 2014, after a five-year-old Ottawa boy was brutally starved to death by his grandparents, DC Comics, citing a “variety of legal reasons,” initially attempted to prevent members of the boy’s community from placing an image of the boy’s favorite superhero, Superman, on his gravestone.
It was only after a public outcry that DC Comics finally relented.