DC seeks to stop software company from trademarking ‘Gotham’
After drawing widespread attention last week for its effort to block singer Rihanna from trademarking “Robyn,” DC Comics has turned its attention to Gotham.
In documents filed Tuesday, and first reported by Pirated Thoughts, DC has asked the United States Trademark and Patent Office to reject an attempt by software company Palantir Technologies to register “Gotham” as the name of a computer program. As the law blog notes, the product was previously referred to as “Palantir Gotham,” but for unknown reasons the company decided to drop the first half of the name, thereby attracting the watchful eyes DC’s attorneys.
Although the comics publisher doesn’t own the trademark to Gotham, it’s used the name as the primary setting of Batman’s adventures since 1940, and essentially claims common law use. Additionally, DC points to its existing trademarks for “Gotham Central,” “Gotham City,” “Gotham Girls” and “Gotham Knights,” and two pending applications for “Gotham” (both tied to the Fox television series of the same name).
DC claims Palantir’s use of “Gotham” will likely lead to confusion in the marketplace and trademark dilution.
Gotham, whose roots lie in the English village of the same name, has been used in reference to New York City since at least the turn of the 19th century, long before Bill Finger settled on “Gotham City” as Batman’s stomping grounds.
However, the publisher argues (somewhat convincingly) that through its “shepherding and careful development of the Batman character and his universe,” the Dark Knight has “become associated with certain names, marks and indicia which, in the public mind, are inextricably linked with the Batman character and which function as trademarks.” In short, when you think of Gotham, you think of Batman.