August 07, 2013

IP and the Comic Book Superhero

Overview

Washington, DC of counsel Janet Fries participated in a panel discussion at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting. The program was “IP and the Comic Book Superhero” on Wednesday, August 7, at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco.

The program looked at several IP topics and current cases through the lens of comic book superheroes including Batman, Superman, and Spiderman. IP professionals and comic book enthusiasts explored how patents, trademarks and copyrights are depicted in comic books and drew comparisons to real world scenarios and IP strategies.

Janet discussed copyright issues including why carmakers are prohibited from making replicas of the Batmobile and provided an update in the 65-year battle for the copyrights in Superman. She used cases involving the various superheroes to explain the scope of copyright protection, including categories of copyrightable subject matter, and some of the hurdles that must be overcome in order to exercise statutory rights to terminate transfer of copyrights.

 

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