DC Comics has filed a lawsuit against Valencia FC. The football club wants to use a new bat design as its trademark, which DC claims is to similar to the trademarks they hold. Each side has valid points, and it is going to be up to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market to decide. My prediction is that this dispute will be resolved out of a court with someone dropping the claim or the design.
Valencia already uses a bat for its logo as you can see here. They wish to have the bats wings face upwards. That is where DC says it is infringing. They have used the bat for the clubs logo since 1919. The bat is also on the coat of arms for the city of Valencia, dating back to 1238 CE.
Looking at the picture above, it shows both the Batman sign, and what Valencia wants their logo to be. Notice the bottom of the proposed Valencia bat. It is geometrically shaped like the Batman one. The sharp points on the bat also are like the Batman one.
While I believe this won’t reach any court as one side will drop out before that happens, if it does reach a court or agency judgement, I think DC comics will win. The two images look much the same. Make the bat’s ears on the Valencia image sharp, and you would think it was some sort of Batman logo. This fits the definition of likelihood to confuse. The company also has over 30 trademarks with the geometric bat. Looking at those 30 images, if you look to the 4th row, 2nd to the left, the Batman image almost looks like Valencia. Perhaps Valencia should sue back?
What do you think? Drop a comment with which side you think is right.
UPDATE: 25 November 2014