In Marvel Comics’ extraordinary universe where mutants, robots, and superhumans routinely clash over the fate of the galaxy, one would hardly expect to find one of our beloved heroes in a protracted legal scrap over trademark infringement. However, Episode 5 of Marvel’s hit show She-Hulk: Attorney at Law subverts expectations with a striking nod to the variety of brand threats in the multiverse and a reminder to individuals and businesses great and small to be vigilant with their IP.
The bell rings on this courtroom brawl when She-Hulk (a.k.a. Atty. Jennifer Walters by day) learns that her name has been stolen by her nemesis Titania who poaches the term “She-Hulk” to use on a range of beauty products online. Adding insult to injury, Titania then uses the trademark as license to sue Jennifer Walters for infringement of her registered IP.
“She’s suing me over the name She-Hulk? But that’s my name.”
Despite not being fond of the “She-Hulk” pseudonym, our heroine enjoys being sued for the use of her own name even less – not to mention being associated with a collection of lewd and ridiculous products. Along with the burden of reputational damage, She-Hulk quickly realizes that Titania’s ownership of the “She-Hulk” trademark gives her the upper hand in a court of law. Nevertheless, determined to avenge herself and to set the record straight, She-Hulk persists and produces enough evidence of her self-identification as “She-Hulk” long before her opponent made off with the mark – winning the day!
While light-hearted and absurd at times, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law captures the sense of discomfort and inequity felt by any victim of IP abuse and the uphill battles they often face. This instalment from Marvel delivers a poignant takeaway regarding intellectual property and brand protection. It pays to get there first. She-Hulk makes the point that without a registered trademark in your territories of operation, someone else can register your brand name and profit from your effort and creativity – jeopardizing your reputation in the process. In exceptional cases as seen in She-Hulk, rightful brand ownership may be settled in or out of court but often at considerable expense and no shortage of heartache.
Given the global popularity and wide demographic appeal of Marvel, She-Hulk’s engagement with the subject of intellectual property is a triumph for IP advocacy. With greater awareness of existing brand threats and strategies of prevention founded on intellectual property assets, IP villains will not know what they are up against.
Worried about trademark infringements?
SnapDragon Monitoring is an online brand protection service for businesses to find and resolve instances of intellectual property (IP) infringement online. We search the world’s busiest social media and online marketplaces to identify copies and counterfeits of products and brands, so that they can be removed. Doing so protects revenues, reputations and most importantly, the end consumer. Originality is proven using intellectual property rights, such as trademarks, design rights and copyright, and then processed by either the customer or our team of brand analysts, resulting in a quicker and cheaper process than traditional methods. Using our intelligent Swoop software, infringing products can often be removed from marketplaces in under four minutes.
Get your free brand check
Would you like to see how we could help you protect your intellectual property? We are offering a free brand check, which will show where your brand may be in danger. Get in touch today!