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Thread: How did Mattel get Whiplash trademarked?

  1. #1
    Elder Councilman
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    How did Mattel get Whiplash trademarked?

    They had so many problems with name trademarks in the past; in fact I believe they trademarked the Snake lord himself even now as "King Hsss"; so with Marvel having the Crimson Dynamo himself, how does Mattel have access to the name "Whiplash"?

    I don't understand that.
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  2. #2
    #1 Extendar Fan! JonWes's Avatar
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    Presumably Mattel got their first or has a stronger claim. You can trademark the same name if you don't have a directly competing product. You'll notice that Hasbro's Iron Man 2 whiplash figure is actually called Ivan "Whiplash" Vanko on the packaging. Hopefully Mattel can use a similar technique for people like Fisto or Rattlor. Instead of The General and Battle Fist. I sort of wonder if you could argue that the descriptor is part of the name so instead of just tm'ing Fisto you could tm "Fisto, Heroic Master of hand-to-hand combat" altogether...

  3. #3
    Court Magician Loki Corvinus's Avatar
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    Isn't their a rumor going around that Mattel will be calling the toy Whipslash? That said, it's just a rumor until proven fact.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior
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    Ivan is never refered to as Whiplash in the movie, so Hasbro's claim to it would be pretty weak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Death Weed View Post
    Ivan is never refered to as Whiplash in the movie, so Hasbro's claim to it would be pretty weak.
    haven't they had that name TMed since like the '60s?
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  6. #6
    Court Magician Loki Corvinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingRandor82 View Post
    haven't they had that name TMed since like the '60s?
    Marvel has anyway. Which is now owned by Disney.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Corvinus View Post
    Marvel has anyway. Which is now owned by Disney.
    yeah, so how'd Mattel get the rights to trademark it?
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    Heroic Warrior Skeletortilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingRandor82 View Post
    yeah, so how'd Mattel get the rights to trademark it?
    IDK, but I always thought trademarks like that were stupid anyway...I mean, I could get into a car accident and actually GET whiplash.

    Would I have to pay royalties or something for having a stiff neck?
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    Evil and Reads Everything Straight Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingRandor82 View Post
    yeah, so how'd Mattel get the rights to trademark it?
    Because Trademarks for comic book characters are different than trademarks for toys.

    There's never been direct competition between the Iron Man villain and Skeletor's resident lizard-boy before, so there was never a problem with Mattel getting or holding the trademark.

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior WDWFreak53's Avatar
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    Do they ever mention the name "Whiplash" in the movie? I can't remember...I thought they called him "Ivan Vanko" every time they were talking about him (or to him).

  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior jimharnock's Avatar
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    Since "whiplash" is a common word, just like common proper names, it can't be trademarked or have a copyright attached to it. What would have a trademark and copyright is the character itself and the character design attached to the name.

    So Marvel/Disney would own a trademark and copyright on the character Whiplash as he appears in Marvel comics/movies and Mattel would have a trademark/copyright on the character Whiplash as he appears in MOTU.

    A similar example would be how both Marvel Comics and DC Comics have characters called Captain Marvel. Same name, but completely different characters and different designs. DC usually refers to their Captain Marvel as Shazam for marketing purposes though, so it's a slightly different situation.

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    Evil Warrior Soulfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimharnock View Post
    Since "whiplash" is a common word, just like common proper names, it can't be trademarked or have a copyright attached to it. What would have a trademark and copyright is the character itself and the character design attached to the name.

    So Marvel/Disney would own a trademark and copyright on the character Whiplash as he appears in Marvel comics/movies and Mattel would have a trademark/copyright on the character Whiplash as he appears in MOTU.
    Wrong.

    Whiplash is trademarked and can be trademarked. There is no notation on the use of the name not allowing it to be trademarked on the trademark itself.

    Trademarks are taken out on a product by product basis. You have to take them out on something you actually have plans on using. There are various Whiplash trademarks. But the ones Mattel holds are for actions figures/toys and things like remote control cars.

  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior jimharnock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfly View Post
    Wrong.

    Whiplash is trademarked and can be trademarked. There is no notation on the use of the name not allowing it to be trademarked on the trademark itself.

    Trademarks are taken out on a product by product basis. You have to take them out on something you actually have plans on using. There are various Whiplash trademarks. But the ones Mattel holds are for actions figures/toys and things like remote control cars.
    This is basically what I said. The word "whiplash" itself cannot be trademarked, but it can be trademarked in the context of the product itself. We're basically saying the same thing.

  14. #14
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimharnock View Post
    A similar example would be how both Marvel Comics and DC Comics have characters called Captain Marvel. Same name, but completely different characters and different designs. DC usually refers to their Captain Marvel as Shazam for marketing purposes though, so it's a slightly different situation.
    But Marvel hold the comic TM on "Captain Marvel", and make sure to pump out a series or one-shot every few years to keep it. DC call their CM's comics stuff like "The Power of Shazam!" because they can't call a series Captain Marvel (unless they want to be sued, of course).

    [Marvel themselves fell foul of this principle a couple of years when they had to rename an announced and solicited Champions series to The Order at the last minute, since another company contested that THEY held the Champions TM.]

  15. #15
    Heroic Master Of Wisdom Arthur's Avatar
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    The Mattel toy called Whipslash is actually a dinosaur from another line.
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    Heroic Master of Tugging CarKrash's Avatar
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    perhaps marvel doesn't have the name trademarked. Even Whiplash's action figure has his codename in quotations as if it's not his real name..


  17. #17
    #1 Extendar Fan! JonWes's Avatar
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    LOL, sometimes I wonder if people actually read what I post.

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