Marvel Comics versus DC - No Rivals over Superhero Trademark -

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Marvel Comics versus DC - No Rivals over Superhero Trademark

There is no one who did not grow up being exposed to comic books in one form or another; thus, Marvel Comics versus DC is nothing new. If it was not through published copies, it was through movies and television. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the like were born through comic books before they rose to mainstream popularity in practically all media outlets, products, and franchises.

Although there are different comic book genres, the most prominent are those with action filled theme. These include characters mentioned earlier. 

Marvel had been recognized as one of the major companies for super hero franchises due to the efforts of Stan Lee, along with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and other artists who founded the company. Spider Man, Iron Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, and many others are attributed to Marvel. In 2009, the company’s horizon had expanded through animation giant Walt Disney in a $4.24 billion deal.

DC Comics on the other hand is associated with media companies Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner Inc. DC takes credit for popular comic book protagonists and antagonists. These include household names such as Superman, Batman, the Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and other characters. Super hero groups such as the Justice League and Teen Titans also make up DC’s wide range of titles.

Yet the spot light is not always focused on the good guys. Comic book villains such as Lex Luthor, Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Two Face, Cat Woman, and many others from DC Comics had also become epic names along with their respective counterparts. For Marvel, characters such as Magneto, Green Goblin, Doctor Doom, and many others had been popularized in the same manner as the heroes are.

Marvel and DC comics share the largest percentage of comic book sales in the United States and throughout the world as of 2008.

Marvel Comics versus DC
The Rivalry for the Superhero Trademark

The rivalry between Marvel and DC has existed since the early 1960’s in published comic book format. It had further escalated in the big screen during the 1990’s when Marvel started producing movie screen adaptations of hit comic series characters. The attempt was technically futile at first and only started to gain momentum at the end of the decade. The greatest phenomenal patronage ever registered for both companies to date was the recent ten years from 2000 to 2010. Statistics are attributed to sales generated from movies, music records, published books, DVD’s, and all items where their trademark is applied.

If there is anything Marvel and DC did not rival over, it is the Superhero trademark. In 1979, both companies claim dual ownership of the term “super hero” and different variations of which. They have also refiled the claim recently following legal challenges posted by law groups from all over the world.

The claim was backed up by presenting sufficient evidence which prove that when the superhero trademark is presented, it automatically refers to Marvel or DC for a consumer. The same argument is applicable to other products and services such as Xerox, Roller, and Band Aid. These brands had become associated to the item they represent that a distinction may not be noticeable anymore. Hence, we may call a photo copied file as “Xerox,” a skate as “roller blade,” and a medicine plaster as “band aid” not knowing that we refer to a specific brand and not the item itself. The same holds true for the superhero trademark.

Whether as rivals or partners, Marvel and DC comics have been influential in many ways in the past and will surely continue to do so in the future.

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