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Fergus Duniho wrote on 2003-12-17 UTC
<P>I have reason to doubt that Schmidt's use of the name Spiderball is a violation of Paranto's trademark. My reason is this. Marvel Comics owns the trademark on the name Captain Marvel, yet DC has its own Captain Marvel. Marvel can stop DC from publishing a comic with the name Captain Marvel on the cover, but it can't stop DC from publishing titles like Shazam and 'The Power of Shazam,' which feature DC's Captain Marvel, because trademarks are limited in what they protect. As <A HREF='http://briefs.toddverbeek.com/archives/000064.html'>Captain Marvel vs. Captain Marvel</A>, a page I found on the subject says,</P> <BLOCKQUOTE>... trademark protection isn't nearly as broad or secure as copyright protection. It only covers 'marks' (such as logos or names) used 'in trade' (the packaging and marketing of goods and services). Think of it this way: copyright applies to the entire contents of a book, from cover to cover. Trademark applies to only the cover. That's because the cover is what shows on a retailer's display rack: the marketing part.</BLOCKQUOTE> <P>Since the Spiderball game isn't being sold at all, much less being sold on toy shelves next to the Spiderball toy, it is not part of the world of trade. If it were being sold in stores, Paranto would have every right to demand a name change. But it's not. It's just a description of a noncommercial game on a non-profit website.</P>

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