Marvel Seeks to Shutdown the “Wakanda Wine Fest”

Wakanda is known for being the home of the Black Panther, plentiful amounts of vibranium, and tasty wine (?).  Marvel has opposed a trademark registration for WAKANDA WINE FEST claiming it is using the name of their fictionalized country without permission.

Marvel licensed merch bearing the WAKANDA mark

The process for registering a trademark can be a tricky one. Unlike copyright registrations, a trademark is published for opposition giving the world and opportunity to object to the registering of the mark, if they have a legitimate reason for doing so. I always recommend hiring an attorney to do a registration because of exactly this, you don’t want to spend good money on a registration that has no chance of getting through. Here, I am boldly declaring that WAKANDA WINE FEST has zero percent chance of ever being a registered trademark.

Wakanda is a fictional country that was first mentioned in 1966’s Fantastic Four #52 in which the character, the Black Panther, debuted. Since this time, Marvel has continuously used the WAKANDA mark in its comics, movies, and in merchandise. There have even been two comic book series, World of Wakanda and Wakanda Forever, that have used the mark. Marvel has two registered trademarks for WORLD OF WAKANDA and WAKANDA FOREVER.

From the Wakanda Wine Fest Instagram account

In February 2012, Davon Hatchett of Houston, Texas, filed a trademark registration for the term WAKANDA WINE FEST in a class covering wine tastings and seminars. This was filed as an intent to use mark, meaning as of the time of the filing, the wine fests were not yet happening but Hatchett was planning on holding them in the future. Hatchett has used social media handles with the same name to promote the project using the WAKANDA mark in a font that is almost identical to the font Marvel uses.

There can be no doubt where Hatchett got his inspiration and that he is looking to capitalize off of the fame of Marvel’s use of the mark. Since this is the name of a fictional nation, created by Marvel, there is no legitimate claim to the originality of the mark. If Hatchett had sought the advice of an intellectual property attorney he surely would have not wasted his money filing for the registration and now he has put himself on the radar of Marvel’s legal team. Best to walk away from this fight, good sir, and live to fight another day.