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Batman, Turkey Sues Over Unauthorized Use of Name

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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According to the Hurriyet Daily News, Real life Batman faces super test, there is a town in Turkey named Batman whose mayor is suing Chris Nolan, director of Batman Begins and the Dark Knight for some sort of name infringement, claiming rights to the royalties.

Although this might initially raise the specter for Nolan of being haled into some Turkish IP proceeding, it seems even their courts would recognize the silliness of the proceeding:

[T]he name of a local region cannot be registered as a brand name, said lawyer Vehbi Kahveci, head of the Intellectual and Industrial Property Rights Commission of the Istanbul Bar. Also having overseas clients, Kahveci said “Batman” and his image is registered all around the world. The Batman Municipality missed the period in which they could object to the registration decision for Batman’s name as a superhero, according to Kahveci.

Is homonym a defense to such an action, I wonder? At least some of Batman, Turkey’s former residents make more sympathetic potential plaintiffs:

Şafii Dağ, a former Batman resident, currently living in the Germany city of Wesel, is one of those citizens who cannot use Batman as a title for his business, according to the newspaper. “I named my two restaurants Batman. But six months ago, a team of employees from the production company of the movie Batman made me change the title. Telling them that Batman was the name of my hometown did not change anything,” Dağ said.

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Category: intellectual property law, international and comparative law, the law bizarre

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