By Kandyce Hall
A British native prevailed over two comic book giants when faced with opposition to trademark a self-help book. Graham Jules was in the process of publishing a self-help book in 2014 titled “Business Zero to Super Hero,” as well as a registering a trademark for the book title when he received a letter from Marvel and DC Comics alleging infringement of the two companies’ jointly owned trademark. Marvel and DC Comics jointly trademarked the word “superhero” in 1979 and has since attempted to stop any person who tried to use the term ever since then.
The two companies offered to pay Mr. Jules to change the title of his book. Mr. Jules refused claiming “superhero” had become a term used in everyday language and should be allowed to be used by everyone. Mr. Jules also claimed the two companies’ monopoly over the word created an unfair competitive market to those who wish to use the term. Four days prior to the final hearing before the Intellectual Property Office of London the two companies dropped the case against Mr. Jules for “commercial reasons.” Mr. Jules’ trademark application was later approved.
This is an example of a small person successfully defending their right to have their good trademarked. Trademarks are not solely for established companies; they are for everyone who has a good or service that they wish to protect.