DC Comics has filed a complaint with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market against Spanish football club Valencia CF claiming that its use of a bat on its crest (pictured below) constitutes trademark infringement.
The bat has been used on the city of Valencia’s crest since the 13th century when a bat, as legend goes, landed on the flag of James I as he re-took Valencia from the Moors. The football club has used the bat in various iterations since 1919. The DC Comics hero first arrived on the scene in 1939.
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Wawa, the American convenience store chain, is suing a Florida restaurant called Wawa Curry Taste of India for “violating its rights to the name.” The restaurant’s owner, Yogi Patel, says the restaurant’s name comes from a Gujerati phrase meaning “good job” or “congratulations.”
The lawsuit claims that the restaurant’s use of the Wawa name “impairs the distinctive quality” of its trademark, seeks “unspecified compensation” for the use of the name, and asks that the restaurant be prohibited from using it.
Despite being common in the eastern United States (with over 600 stores), not many people know the origin of the convenience store chain’s name. According to the company’s website, Wawa, Inc. began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. The owner expanded into dairy farming and opened a small processing plant in Wawa, Pennsylvania in the early 1900s. The first Wawa Food Market opened in 1964. The company’s logo features a goose since “wawa” is a native American word for the Canada geese found in Pennsylvania’s Delaware Valley.
In a statement to the Orlando Sentinel, a Wawa spokesperson wrote: “At Wawa we support the success of all businesses including Mr. Patel’s Indian restaurant. That said, we have an obligation to protect consumers from any likelihood of confusion that may occur in the marketplace and to protect the brand name, goodwill and reputation that we’ve worked so hard to build over the past 50 years…”
The restaurant’s owner told the newpaper: “We can’t fight them. We are just a small restaurant, so we will have to change our name.”