Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#471602 - 07/28/01 04:53 PM "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Carl_Henderson Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/01
Posts: 33
Loc: Dallas, TX, USA
As of July 11th, Todd McFarlane Productions, Inc. has filed (again) for a registered trademark on "Miracleman." The filing appeared in the USPTO online trademark database (TESS) on July 25th. TESS can be accessed via this URL: http://www.uspto.gov/web/menu/tm.html

TMP has filed in three international classes (016, 025, & 028) seeking coverage for "comic books and posters", "athletic shirts, t-shirts, caps and jackets", and "action figures and accessories". These are essentially the same goods and services that TMP sought to cover in their now abandoned 1997 filing.

I find it interesting that TMP, Inc. filed the very next day after I posted my original "Miracleman Trademark Status" article to rec.arts.comics.misc and the comicon.com message boards. For McFarlane's sake, I hope really isn't depending on Usenet and message board posts for legal advice [img]/resources/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

Below is the entry from the USPTO online trademark database:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Word Mark
MIRACLEMAN

Goods and Services
IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: PRINTED MATTER, NAMELY, COMIC BOOKS AND POSTERS

IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: CLOTHING, NAMELY, SHIRTS, ATHLETIC SHIRTS, T-SHIRTS, CAPS AND JACKETS

IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: TOYS, NAMELY, ACTION FIGURES AND ACCESSORIES THEREFORE

Mark Drawing Code
(1) TYPED DRAWING

Serial Number
76283194

Filing Date
July 11, 2001

Filed ITU
FILED AS ITU

Owner
(APPLICANT) Todd McFarlane Productions, Inc. CORPORATION ARIZONA. 12240 South Honah Lee Court, Phoenix ARIZONA 85044

Attorney of Record
Penny R. Slicer

Type of Mark
TRADEMARK

Register
PRINCIPAL

Live/Dead Indicator
LIVE
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Checking on the status of the application reveals that TMP's Attorney of Record for this filing is:

Penny R. Slicer
Stinson, Mag & Fizzell, P.C.
PO Box 419251
Kansas City, MO 64141-6251

Interesting times, indeed...


------------------
Carl Henderson
carl.henderson@airmail.net

[This message has been edited by Carl_Henderson (edited 07-28-2001).]
_________________________
Carl Henderson
jch@carlhenderson.net

Top
#471603 - 07/28/01 05:42 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Howard Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/00
Posts: 882
Penny Slicer? Please tell me that's not her real name.
_________________________
Howard Price
Sr. Editor
The Trades : Entertainment industry analysis since 1997

Top
#471604 - 07/28/01 05:51 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
wcrupe Offline
Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 154
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD, Good Ol' USA
Any idea if the USPTO takes public comments on these matters?
_________________________
_ _ ___________________ _ _

Bill Crupe

Top
#471605 - 07/28/01 08:11 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Alias Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/99
Posts: 1115
Loc: Las Vegas Nevada USA
They do have a contact listing on the site listed above. I just mailed them a letter questioning them about what type of research they do before approving an application and letting them know that there is a dispute about the ownership of the Miracleman property. I hope others will contact them too. Clearly if they approve TMP's application it would be both a moral and legal mistake.

Top
#471606 - 07/28/01 08:12 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
JM Lofficier Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 289
Loc: Resea, CA, USA
I believe an opposition could be filed (by an interested party, usually) and there there would be a hearing. This would cost far less than a regular lawsuit and the results might be very interesting.

JM

Top
#471607 - 07/28/01 08:14 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Korvac Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/00
Posts: 1686
Loc: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Interesting. Make that fascinating. Thanks Carl for the extremely informative post. Presumably someone will be bringing this to Neil's attention, I wonder what the process the USPTO office follows is? Do they assume that Todd owns the material unless they hear differently? Do they do any digging into something brought before them? How would one communicate to them that the ownership of something brought to them was highly contested?

This is the kind of thing that restores my hope in internet discussion of these kind of issues, doubtless Todd would prefer this was being done quietly and without any input by the public, Carl's hard work has assured a certain amount of transparency to the precedings.

This, to my mind is the essense of journalism: Important facts, facts that a powerful person would rather not be known have been brought before the audience most affected. Kudos.

------------------
Nothing tops the simple joy of a monkey knife fight.
_________________________
"Reality has a well known liberal bias."
-Stephen Colbert

Top
#471608 - 07/28/01 09:33 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
skylion Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 59
Loc: covington, ky usa
I just read this off of Neil's journal entries from neilgaiman.com. It might stir the pot up considerably. If I am not mistaken, the films in question are the films of the Eclipse MiracleMan issues. I guess we shall wait and see.---skylion

Saturday, July 28, 2001
"Hurrah for Wizard magazine. A few months ago they published that some film that I had had in my basement for some years was irretrievably lost. (The people who sent the film to me told them this, for their own reasons.) This month I was told that Wizard had published an update -- that there was film in my basement, but it was in unusable condition -- which was an amazing thing for them to know, since, as far as I can tell, the boxes haven't been opened since they were owned by Eclipse, pre-bankruptcy.

So I thought I'd go down to the basement and look.


Not only was it not at all damaged, old or unusable (because my basement is the other half of my library, and shares drainage tiles and moisture control and sensible things like that) but there was an awful lot more of it than I had thought there would be from the labels on the boxes, including some things I'd thought gone for good -- which will, I think, soon be seeing print from a delightully unexpected source.


Which is enormously fun, and I owe it all to the responsible journalism of Wizard magazine."

...I am bubbling with excitment over what will be happening next.--skylion



[This message has been edited by skylion (edited 07-28-2001).]

Top
#471609 - 07/28/01 09:47 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Alias Offline
Member

Registered: 01/14/99
Posts: 1115
Loc: Las Vegas Nevada USA
The Trademark website listed above also states that you can expect a reply to your email question within 7 working days.

Top
#471610 - 07/28/01 10:07 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
brent Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 11
Neil Gaiman:
"Which is enormously fun, and I owe it all to the responsible journalism of Wizard magazine."

...and causing me to unexpectedly state in public for what may be the first and only time in bold and italics for proper effect:

Yay Wizard!!!!

God, now we need one of those Budwiser commercials..."Here's to you Mr. irresponsible Wizard comic journalist."

Top
#471611 - 07/29/01 05:45 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Carl_Henderson Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/01
Posts: 33
Loc: Dallas, TX, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Alias:
I just mailed them a letter questioning them about what type of research they do before approving an application and letting them know that there is a dispute about the ownership of the Miracleman property. I hope others will contact them too.


Keep in mind that when the US Patent and Trademark Office "accept" an application for a trademark, it means nothing more than the right paperwork was mailed (or submitted via their website) along with the $325.00 fee (per class). All the investigation of whether the mark can be awarded to the applicant takes place later--often up to six months to a year. Below is a brief outline of the process.

Registration is a process where someone who uses something as a trademark (or wants to use something as one) applies (via a written application with examples of the mark) to the US Trademark and Patents Office (USPTO) for a federal grant of exclusive rights to that mark.

Registration requires that one either a) use the mark in commerce, or b) intend to use the mark in commerce within a set time period--and then provide proof to the USPTO that one has actually begun to use the mark in commerce (this requirement killed TMP's last attempt to register the "Miracleman" mark back in 1997). Registration also requires a $325 fee for each international class of goods and services that one's mark will cover.

Before a federal trademark reqistration is granted, the USPTO's lawyers will investigate to see if your proposed mark conflicts with any existing registratered trademarks. If there is a problem, the USPTO may require you to modify your mark, disclaim some rights under that mark, make changes to your goods and services that the mark covers, or they may reject your mark altogether. Any such actions by the USPTO can be appealed.

Finally, before the registration process is complete, the mark must be published for opposition--a thirty day period where anyone who believes the proposed mark conflicts with, or dilutes, their rights may file an application to oppose granting the mark.

(For more detailed information go to the USPTO web site and read the "Basic Facts About Trademarks" publication (at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/tac/doc/basic/ )

------------------
Carl Henderson
carl.henderson@airmail.net

[This message has been edited by Carl_Henderson (edited 07-29-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Carl_Henderson (edited 07-29-2001).]
_________________________
Carl Henderson
jch@carlhenderson.net

Top
#471612 - 07/29/01 05:59 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Carl_Henderson Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/01
Posts: 33
Loc: Dallas, TX, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Korvac:
Interesting. Make that fascinating. Thanks Carl for the extremely informative post. Presumably someone will be bringing this to Neil's attention[...]


It has been emailed to both Neil Gaiman (by a RACer who has his email address) and to Joe Quesada (who has been in discussion with Gaiman about publishing Miracleman at Marvel).

Quote:
I wonder what the process the USPTO office follows is? Do they assume that Todd owns the material unless they hear differently? Do they do any digging into something brought before them? How would one communicate to them that the ownership of something brought to them was highly contested?


See my previous message for a brief overview of how the trademark registration process works. (BTW--I know all this stuff because I've filed--and appealed--several trademarks as part of my day job.)

Quote:
This is the kind of thing that restores my hope in internet discussion of these kind of issues, doubtless Todd would prefer this was being done quietly and without any input by the public, Carl's hard work has assured a certain amount of transparency to the precedings.


I'm sure he didn't expect that--TMP had to know that lots of people would be watching for any activity on the "Miracleman" mark. And it wasn't really "hard" work. All I did was look up "Miracleman" in the USPTO online trademark database every week or so.

Quote:
This, to my mind is the essense of journalism: Important facts, facts that a powerful person would rather not be known have been brought before the audience most affected. Kudos.


Thanks for your kind words. But if it was really journalism, I'd get paid [img]/resources/ubb/smile.gif[/img]


------------------
Carl Henderson
carl.henderson@airmail.net
_________________________
Carl Henderson
jch@carlhenderson.net

Top
#471613 - 07/29/01 11:50 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
skylion Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 59
Loc: covington, ky usa
...Neil Gaiman (by a RACer who has his email...

I am not trying to dig for Neil's email address, if he wanted me to have it he would give it to me, but what is a RAC?

Top
#471614 - 07/29/01 12:09 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Jason Michael Offline
Member

Registered: 08/07/00
Posts: 214
Loc: Pembroke,Ontario,Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by skylion:
but what is a RAC?



RAC is a group of comic news groups.RAC stands for rec.arts.comics and this is followed by another name-for instance,Mr. Henderson posts updates to this Miracleman fiasco to rec.arts.comics.misc .There are other newsgroups devoted to DC,Marvel,X-men,Vertigo,etc.
It is essentially a fore-runner of message boards such as this one.
Jason Michael

Top
#471615 - 07/29/01 12:14 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
skylion Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 59
Loc: covington, ky usa
Thank you Jayson.

Top
#471616 - 07/29/01 01:23 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Andy Wan Kenobi Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, En...
I would love to see Marvel reprint Miracleman or Marvelman as they'll probably call it...

------------------
"The reason the sun never set on the British Empire, is because nobody trusts the bastards in the dark."

I like that quote smile
_________________________
"The reason the sun never set on the British Empire, is because nobody trusts the bastards in the dark."

MonkeyFresh - The place to be in shitty flash related comedy. Go see or your preferred kind of animal will be harmed...
And join the HIDA today or I'll eat whats left...

Top
#471617 - 07/29/01 01:28 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
ChrisW Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Quote:
Originally posted by neil gaiman (thanks to skylion [img]/resources/ubb/wink.gif[/img]):
ISaturday, July 28, 2001
Not only was it not at all damaged, old or unusable (because my basement is the other half of my library, and shares drainage tiles and moisture control and sensible things like that) but there was an awful lot more of it than I had thought there would be from the labels on the boxes, including some things I'd thought gone for good -- which will, I think, soon be seeing print from a delightully unexpected source.(edited 07-28-2001).]


Has he specified what all was actually in the boxes? You know, just to end the frenzy of speculation? [uhh...]

This could simplify matters. Gaiman (and his agent) could get the actual material out at a good deal to all (Moore, Totleben, etc.). But Marvel as the 'delightfully unexpected source'? That would make about as much sense as giving it to McFarlane to publish. Oh what a long spaghetti-tangled web we weave...
_________________________
If This Be... PayPal!!!

"I think ChrisW is the funniest man in entertainment still alive..."
-- the perceptive Tom Spurgeon

Top
#471618 - 07/29/01 01:34 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
skylion Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 59
Loc: covington, ky usa
Actually with Joe Quesada at the helm, we might get a fair shake from a MM reprinting. But it is all conjecture at this point. For my money, I would dig seeing Neil publish it himself. Dream on.

Top
#471619 - 07/29/01 02:05 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
ChrisW Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Sure, he might get a good deal, it's just nobody really seems to know how Marvel will end up, and publishing it himself could possibly be a safer deal than tying the property to another sinking ship. I dunno anything about this stuff, maybe with good money up front, right to pick up and move on, etc, it could be a good deal.
_________________________
If This Be... PayPal!!!

"I think ChrisW is the funniest man in entertainment still alive..."
-- the perceptive Tom Spurgeon

Top
#471620 - 07/29/01 10:42 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
BeauSmith Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/01
Posts: 183
Granted, fellas...I'm no Perry Mason, but it seems to me that Marvel's legal department wouldn't wanna touch the Miracleman reprints with a 10 foot pole.

Looks to me that whoever does try it will have to deal with somebody...don't know who...that will start throwin' lawsuits around like flies around a picnic feast.

Marvel doesn't strike me as the type to wanna do battle over something they don't have much to gain from. They don't have the deep pockets for casual lawsuits like they used to. Joe might talk a good game on it to see his name in print, but I don't think the Marvel laywers would be real eager to back him up.

I could be wrong...just my thoughts.

Beau

Top
#471621 - 07/29/01 11:10 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
UncleBob Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/00
Posts: 115
Loc: Mount Carmel, IL 62863
Maybe Neil could get DC Comics to do it. Then DC/Neil could just use the Warner Bros. legal team (who is probably just itching for some new action and some fresh blood).

I can't see any particular legal team from other interested parties being able to beat the WB guys on this one. [img]/resources/ubb/wink.gif[/img]

------------------
Did you take the time to really discover how little we know about each other?
theunclebob@hotmail.com - ICQ Me - Phone: 618.262.8064

Top
#471622 - 07/29/01 11:17 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
skylion Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 59
Loc: covington, ky usa
I posted Neil's blogger, the same one that I posted here on the bbs at spawn.com. It has been deleted. Are there any staffers of those boards on this board that would care to pony up an exlaination? Huh?

Top
#471623 - 07/29/01 11:34 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
UncleBob Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/00
Posts: 115
Loc: Mount Carmel, IL 62863
Ummm... Hey Skylion...

It's still there...
http://www.spawn.com/board/ubb/Forum1/HTML/005338.html

------------------
Did you take the time to really discover how little we know about each other?
theunclebob@hotmail.com - ICQ Me - Phone: 618.262.8064

Top
#471624 - 07/30/01 07:27 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
skylion Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 59
Loc: covington, ky usa
I looked on every single page for that thread, and had my wife double check for me. As of 11:00 pm est it was nowhere on the boards. Funny it is there now. If I am wrong about it I would say so. But I am not wrong, in this.

Top
#471625 - 07/30/01 11:06 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Adrian Brown Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/00
Posts: 240
Loc: London, England
Quote:
Originally posted by BeauSmith:
Granted, fellas...I'm no Perry Mason, but it seems to me that Marvel's legal department wouldn't wanna touch the Miracleman reprints with a 10 foot pole.

Looks to me that whoever does try it will have to deal with somebody...don't know who...that will start throwin' lawsuits around like flies around a picnic feast.

Marvel doesn't strike me as the type to wanna do battle over something they don't have much to gain from. They don't have the deep pockets for casual lawsuits like they used to. Joe might talk a good game on it to see his name in print, but I don't think the Marvel laywers would be real eager to back him up.

I could be wrong...just my thoughts.

Beau


Why would TMP want to challenge anyone's rights to reprint Neil Gaiman's Miracleman ?
(or *finally* print the final episodes)
I mean, I'm as quick as the next person to label Todd the bad guy in this, but free publicity for a character that he merchandise and follow up on seems like a satisfying bit of business to me.

One thing in all his "silent" statements, he hasn't said no to someone else reprinting the character either.
_________________________
* * * * * * *
Just 1 Page charity comic at the
UK Comic Expo, @ Bristol in May 2005

Top
#471626 - 07/30/01 11:08 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Adrian Brown Offline
Member

Registered: 03/25/00
Posts: 240
Loc: London, England
... or EVEN to TMP publishing it.

------------------
_________________________
* * * * * * *
Just 1 Page charity comic at the
UK Comic Expo, @ Bristol in May 2005

Top
#471627 - 07/30/01 11:10 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
JM Lofficier Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 289
Loc: Resea, CA, USA
Several parties -- not just Neil Gaiman -- may legitimately file an opposition to McFarlane's trademark application. I hope they do. A hearing costs far, far less than a regular lawsuit, and for all intents and purposes, would likely achieve the same results -- throw a giant monkeywrench into the gears and properly tests each party's claims.

McFarlane's claim to own MM is based on Eclipse's previous claim, itself based on whatever rights it got from Dez Skinn, and that entire chain of title seems rather shaky to me.

Other than the PR value, I can't quite see what Marvel would have to gain from this, and besides anyone working to untangle such a chain of title would only do so with the assurance of owning the whole thing at the end. I don't know about others, but I don't think that full MM ownership by Marvel would necessarily be a good thing...

JM

Top
#471628 - 07/30/01 11:43 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
S. Wintle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 30
JM, Where do you get off posting such articulate, intelligent, fair-minded messages? Ya Bastid.

As an aside, if the Skinn-Eclipse-McFarlane line of events is shaky, then wouldn't it stand to reason that the Dez-Moore-Gaiman links are equally shaky?
_________________________
Flat Earth
Approved by the Comics Code Authority.

Top
#471629 - 07/30/01 01:52 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
JM Lofficier Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 289
Loc: Resea, CA, USA
It's Bastrich to you, sir, not Bastid. :-)

And to answer your question, yes, it does. (Limiting our conversation to underlying rights, not existing material.)

Until we're clear about the Miller-Anglo-Skinn relationship, I don't think anyone further down the chain has a very solid leg to stand on.

McFarlane introducing MM in HELLSPAWN is sort of equivalent to him using the Siegels to introduce SUPERMAN in SPAWN, except that neither Miller, nor Anglo (nor Skinn) have the resources of DC. It's the sort of action that, normally, a lawyer would advise against.

Or for all we know, MM may be deemed to be in the Public Domain (not the stories, the character), in which case no one can truly own him/it.

I will hazard a guess that Alan Moore, cutting to the chase with good common sense, probably felt that no one truly owned, or should own MM (which after all was conceived in an act of piracy), which is why he felt free to hand it on to his successors.

The steps allegedly taken by McFarlane to register sole ownership of the MM trademark fly against both legal evidence (based on what has been publicly revealed so far) and good, old fashioned common sense. (All in my humble opinion, based on very limited information.)

I have no particular problem with McFarlane using MM (through his purchase of Eclipse), if any of the other parties were also free to use him.

Alternatively, a MM consortium la Conan Properties could be set up, in which everyone entitled to a share would be represented, and that entity would control the character and take decisions as regards its use.

JM

Top
#471630 - 07/30/01 02:49 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Matt_Fabb Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/01
Posts: 279
Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Marvel doesn't seem like a very likely "unexpected source" since it's been reported that Joe Quesada wanted to reprint Mircleman and most people would expect it to come from Marvel. However, at the same time Neil Gaiman has been on tour crossing North American and the UK promoting his new book American Gods (which is an amazing book by the way) and may have not heard that Joe Quesada's comments were reported, which then would make Marvel an "enexpected source" in Neil's mind.

As for DC/Vertigo, that also wouldn't be very unexpected since so much of Gaiman's material has been released by them.

Maybe Dreamhaven Books , which is the closest Gaiman has come to self-publishing when they release Gaiman's Angels & Visitations book, "Warning Contains Language" CD, among various of other items.

(Edited to fix the link)

[This message has been edited by Matt_Fabb (edited 07-31-2001).]

Top
#471631 - 07/30/01 04:15 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
UncleBob Offline
Member

Registered: 07/09/00
Posts: 115
Loc: Mount Carmel, IL 62863
Quote:
skylion:
I looked on every single page for that thread, and had my wife double check for me. As of 11:00 pm est it was nowhere on the boards. Funny it is there now. If I am wrong about it I would say so. But I am not wrong, in this.


I saw it there on the first page before I came here (making my usual rounds). My guess is ya just overlooked it or something.

I don't know 100% of how the UBB program works, but I don't think a post can be deleted and later added back...

------------------
Did you take the time to really discover how little we know about each other?
theunclebob@hotmail.com - ICQ Me - Phone: 618.262.8064

Top
#471632 - 07/30/01 04:26 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
D Eric Carpenter Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/98
Posts: 55
Loc: indianapolis, IN, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by JM Lofficier:
The steps allegedly taken by McFarlane to register sole ownership of the MM trademark fly against both legal evidence (based on what has been publicly revealed so far) and good, old fashioned common sense. (All in my humble opinion, based on very limited information.)


My ONLY disagreement with your well-thought out posts is in this point. Trademark is something that has to be used or it goes away.

Two years ago, I could have published a comic book entitled Miracleman featuring the all new adventures of an entirely new character (nothing to do with the character in question), and I would have had a perfectly valid trademark--because no one was using it. It hasn't been used in well over a decade.

Trademark has very little to do with the creative side of things, and even less to do with copyrights.

Otherwise, I completely concur with your thoughts,

D. Eric Carpenter

Top
#471633 - 07/30/01 11:54 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
JM Lofficier Offline
Member

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 289
Loc: Resea, CA, USA
Eric,

I completely agree with your point. What I meant (and didn't express very well) was that one wouldn't normally try to register a tm in a, say, hit-and-run fashion, knowing fuyll well that your claim is not uncontested.

Come to think of it, that's not true. Marvel did get their "Captain Marvel" tm knowing full well that they were in effect stealing it away from the original CM.

The comics industry has a fine tradition of piracy, squatting, and plagiarism, and I suppose that's just one more example of it.

JM

Top
#471634 - 07/31/01 07:29 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Stephen R Bissette Offline
Member

Registered: 11/27/98
Posts: 939
Loc: wilmington, VT USA
I daresay, JM, that the piracy angle may explain much -- after all, Todd's had a taste of same since dabbling with Hollywood, where successful piracy is the mark of a man in some circles, and this whole MM debacle may be the man's high seas.

"Yo ho ho, and a Gaiman rum..."

Top
#471635 - 07/31/01 11:43 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
skylion Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 59
Loc: covington, ky usa
Quote:
Originally posted by Stephen R Bissette:
"Yo ho ho, and a Gaiman rum..."


LOL LOL LOL LOL.
Stop it, man, i mean it.

Top
#471636 - 07/31/01 12:23 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Matt_Fabb Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/01
Posts: 279
Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
From: http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/index.htm?contents=news/viewnews.cgi?newsid996410816,85590,
Quote:

Marvel Gets Its Man, Allegedly

Posted: Sunday, July 29
By: Craig Lemon

This is top secret, right, no-one has told you this, certainly not me... but the word is that Neil Gaiman has just signed a deal with Marvel for them to use the name "Marvelman." Additionally, the comprehensive Miracleman/Marvelman films recently discovered in his basement are about to be published by them in a series of Trade Paperbacks covering the entire Miracleman... oops, sorry, Marvelman, run.

Even more secret is that included in this reprints would be the never-published Miracleman... damn, there's that word again, I mean, Marvelman issue #25.... and maybe, just maybe, the eight completed pages from #26 and a script section finishing the story off.

I'd tell you my source, but I'd have to kill you, sorry.


So does this mean if they publish it as Marvelman instead of Mircleman, will that able Marvel to avoid any lawsuit with McFarlane?

Top
#471637 - 07/31/01 12:27 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Glenn Barbis Jr Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/99
Posts: 765
Loc: Nowhere, Pa.
Sorry Matt...as you were posting the above item, I was starting a new thread about the same thing.

Didn't mean to step on you!
_________________________
comicsGB@MySpace

Top
#471638 - 07/31/01 01:59 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Matt_Fabb Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/01
Posts: 279
Loc: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Sorry Matt...as you were posting the above item, I was starting a new thread about the same thing.
Didn't mean to step on you!


No problem Glenn! It's not like it was something original, just quoting from another article that we had both come across.

Top
#471639 - 07/31/01 03:01 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
S.D. Moose Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 484
Loc: Carmi, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by JM Lofficier:
It's Bastrich to you, sir, not Bastid. :-)

And to answer your question, yes, it does. (Limiting our conversation to underlying rights, not existing material.)

Until we're clear about the Miller-Anglo-Skinn relationship, I don't think anyone further down the chain has a very solid leg to stand on.

McFarlane introducing MM in HELLSPAWN is sort of equivalent to him using the Siegels to introduce SUPERMAN in SPAWN, except that neither Miller, nor Anglo (nor Skinn) have the resources of DC. It's the sort of action that, normally, a lawyer would advise against.

Or for all we know, MM may be deemed to be in the Public Domain (not the stories, the character), in which case no one can truly own him/it.

I will hazard a guess that Alan Moore, cutting to the chase with good common sense, probably felt that no one truly owned, or should own MM (which after all was conceived in an act of piracy), which is why he felt free to hand it on to his successors.

The steps allegedly taken by McFarlane to register sole ownership of the MM trademark fly against both legal evidence (based on what has been publicly revealed so far) and good, old fashioned common sense. (All in my humble opinion, based on very limited information.)

I have no particular problem with McFarlane using MM (through his purchase of Eclipse), if any of the other parties were also free to use him.

Alternatively, a MM consortium la Conan Properties could be set up, in which everyone entitled to a share would be represented, and that entity would control the character and take decisions as regards its use.

JM


Maybe he's from Boston and that was his accent?
Anyway, to the topic at hand. Having read the full (and might I say messy) history of the rights to the THUNDER Agents in Comic Book Artist I have one question...anyone know if Todd has been in contact with Miller or Anglo (or those working on their behalf)?
If he has the name Miracleman TM'd and purchased rights or the characters from Miller or Anglo or both, wouldn't he be able to defend his use of the character by using John C. vs David Singer as a precedent? (More or less saying the Dez Skinn/Eclipse use of the characters was not proper and all right and materials would go to TMP.)



------------------
Sean

"Let's all enjoy the sex act before Congress repeals it."-Groucho Marx
_________________________
Sean Dulaney
Writer, F.N. Stein, Consulting Detective, DREAH: Queen Of Thieves, and Kendar's Gift in DIGITAL WEBBING PRESENTS

http://www.digitalwebbing.net/comics/

Top
#471640 - 07/31/01 04:12 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Korvac Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/00
Posts: 1686
Loc: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
>>>
Anyway, to the topic at hand. Having read the full (and might I say messy) history of the rights to the THUNDER Agents in Comic Book Artist I have one question...anyone know if Todd has been in contact with Miller or Anglo (or those working on their behalf)?
If he has the name Miracleman TM'd and purchased rights or the characters from Miller or Anglo or both, wouldn't he be able to defend his use of the character by using John C. vs David Singer as a precedent? (More or less saying the Dez Skinn/Eclipse use of the characters was not proper and all right and materials would go to TMP.) <<

Hmmm, you seem to be ascribing something close to both forethought and respect for creator's rights on Todd's part. If I was a lawyer I'd call that asuming facts not in evidence.


------------------
Nothing tops the simple joy of a monkey knife fight.
_________________________
"Reality has a well known liberal bias."
-Stephen Colbert

Top
#471641 - 07/31/01 04:51 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
S.D. Moose Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 484
Loc: Carmi, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Korvac:
Hmmm, you seem to be ascribing something close to both forethought and respect for creator's rights on Todd's part. If I was a lawyer I'd call that asuming facts not in evidence.


[/B]


Granted, but I saw it more as an end run around any claim Gaiman and others would have on the characters. If the 80's material was to be judged as not to have been published by a "legitimate and legal holder of those [rights] legally binding," then the rights transfered to Gaiman from Moore (as well as those held by the various artists) would be null and void and (again using the THUNDER Agents as precedent) Gaiman would more than likely be ordered to return the film to TMP. (John Carbonaro was awarded the copyright on all THUNDER material released by Deluxe/David Singer as well as backstock that had not been published.) While it's doubtful Todd would be willing to pay for MM twice (Eclipse auction and the theoretical payoff to UK claimants to the character[s]) it would put him on stronger legal ground against Neil or anyone Neil would take the 80's material to and could result in him getting the film back. I believe awhile back JM said not to ignore the claims of Miller and Anglo. This is a damn good reason why they shouldn't be ignored. That's not to say courts could declare Marvelman (the original) public domain. I'm just saying we have precedent and Todd's lawyers would either find it on their own or (since he was working for DC with many who had worked for Deluxe when that judgement was rendered) Todd may have told them to find it. It doesn't make it right in a karma/justice sense but a judge might see it otherwise and rule in favor of Todd.

Of course I could just be talking out of my ass.

"You can put it in the hands of your attorney but that doesn't mean it will stand up in court" -"Camp Judges" Monty Python
_________________________
Sean Dulaney
Writer, F.N. Stein, Consulting Detective, DREAH: Queen Of Thieves, and Kendar's Gift in DIGITAL WEBBING PRESENTS

http://www.digitalwebbing.net/comics/

Top
#471642 - 07/31/01 05:05 PM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Korvac Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/00
Posts: 1686
Loc: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
>>While it's doubtful Todd would be willing to pay for MM twice (Eclipse auction and the theoretical payoff to UK claimants to the character[s]) it would put him on stronger legal ground against Neil or anyone Neil would take the 80's material to and could result in him getting the film back.<<

Go back through the threads and look up the Comic's International story. Todd's already indicated what respect he holds for rival British claims.

------------------
Nothing tops the simple joy of a monkey knife fight.
_________________________
"Reality has a well known liberal bias."
-Stephen Colbert

Top
#471643 - 08/07/01 12:02 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Walt Stone Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 496
Loc: Katy, Tx
Rich Johnston (from his rumor column) has reported that Dez Skinn posted "I seem to recall the Eclipse contracts had a '5 year rights reversion' clause. Must dig the file out when we've moved."

If true, this would change the sea-level just a bit.

I AM surprised this memory didn't shake loose sometime earlier, mind you.

Walt

Top
#471644 - 08/07/01 01:15 AM Re: "Miracleman" Trademark Status Update
Doug T Offline
Member

Registered: 05/14/00
Posts: 98
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Walt Stone:
I AM surprised this memory didn't shake loose sometime earlier, mind you.


That looks suspicious to me, too. Skinn likes to stir things up, and it's interesting that this memory comes back into his mind at such a convenient moment. And if this is true, why hasn't Skinn pursued it? If the rights reverted five years after the last publication of Miracleman, then that was over three years ago.

Of course, if Skinn is correct, perhaps he's been waiting for Todd to publish something so he can go into court with his reversion clause and claim 10% (or whatever his cut would be) of the profits.

Doug Tonks

Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >