Rihanna stopped by Batman (and Robin)?

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The pop star Rihanna is no stranger to intellectual property disputes – in February this year we reported on her successful passing off claim against Topshop. This time she is fighting a caped crusader.

Rihanna has applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office for registration of the trade mark ROBYN. Rihanna’s real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The application was made in respect of, among other things “on-line non-downloadable general feature magazines”. The application has now been opposed by DC Comics, owned by Warner Brothers, the proprietor of the trade mark “ROBIN”, Robin being of course, the side-kick of Batman. The registration covers, among other things, “comic books”.

DC Comics maintain that there is a likelihood of confusion between the marks and also that registration of the ROBYN mark would dilute their own mark, and would effectively trade off the substantial goodwill associated with the ROBIN name.

The ball is now back with Rihanna’s representatives to consider how to tackle the opposition. We will keep you updated.