The latest installment of the Batman movie franchise was a big hit with fans. It told the story of Batman attempting to thwart Bane’s plot to send Gotham City into chaos. One of the subplots of the movie was Catwoman’s effort to obtain the “Clean Slate” software to help her erase her criminal history. It turns out that this fictional software written in to the movie is not so fictional and the company behind the actual Clean Slate software believed that Warner Bros. infringed on their registered trademark by using the name in the movie. This prompted the company to file a trademark infringement lawsuit against Warner Bros. But as most who go up against Batman discover, he usually comes out on top.
The previous Trademark Access blog post discussed a trademark infringement suit between two baseball glove manufacturers. Rawlings Sporting Goods sponsors the “Rawlings Gold Glove Award” baseball glove manufacturers. Rawlings Sporting Goods sponsors the “Rawlings Gold Glove Award” and owns a US trademark registration for that phrase. Rawlings brought suit against Wilson Sporting Goods claiming that Wilson was creating confusion in the marketplace by outfitting a professional baseball player with a gold glove and thereby infringing on Rawlings’s trademark. In a trademark infringement case like this one, one of the major factors that a court would look at is how similar the goods associated with the marks are to each other. If the goods are unrelated, it is less likely there will be any confusion about the source of goods and less likely there will be infringement.