Think you can get punny at the Trademark Office and get away with it? Heck no. DC Comics has opposed a trademark for an Alaska-based outdoors gear company under the WANDER WOMAN brand.
While defenses of satire, parody, fair use, all around punniness might be defense to claims of trademark infringement, they are not a basis for permitting a trademark. For example, if DC Comics sued a company for putting out a comic book called “Wander Woman” about a character that explores the world to poke fun at modern society, the company would say that this is not infringement but parody and satire of a registered trademark. And they might have a viable defense. However, saying something is a parody is not justification to get a trademark through the registration process. So is WANDER WOMAN doomed for failure?
Joel Loosli, a sole proprietor out of Alaska filed the trademark that can be seen to the right. The mark was filed in a class the covers posters and clothing articles. Loosli runs an internet-based storefront called Claimjumper AK that sells gear and clothing for those who are fond of the outdoors. Couple issues here. First, Loosli is running a business without an actual organized business. This is what gets people sued personally. Its a lot easier to have a company go bankrupt instead of an individual. You can form a new company but forming a new individual is a tad harder. Second, Loosli filed for the mark that’s to the right but used as in use samples clothing that just contained part of the mark. Third, this mark is very close to DC Comics’ trademark and was bound to get opposed.
WANDER WOMAN is so close in sight, sound, and impression to DC Comics’ WONDER WOMAN trademark and therefore DC Comics opposed this registration. I tend to think the Loosli will disappear in his invisible jet and not respond to this opposition. If he does plan on fighting it, better get a good attorney, and form that company already.