By Ritvik Kulkarni
What may seem to all of us like a great and attractive name for a small café, may in fact be a cause for legal action by one of the successful comic book companies in the world.
As can be observed from the above image, the proprietary concern has adopted the name ‘Marvel Café’ for running its business in the streets of Pune. What Marvel Café seems to have not realized is that the name ‘Marvel’ is the private property and registered trademark of the Marvel Entertainment Group Inc. Not only has ‘Marvel Café’ used Marvel’s word mark, but has also blatantly used the exactly identical look, design and style as that of Marvel’s. (see image below)
By merely looking at the Café’s name, it is highly likely that ordinary people may be confused and deceived into thinking that this Café is officially owned and run by Marvel. In any case it is more than clear that Marvel Café has adopted the name and style of the Marvel logo in order to attract the maximum customers on the basis the logo’s wide reputation especially among the youth. This unauthorized use of amounts to trademark infringement and passing off. If by any chance the owner of the Marvel trademark gains knowledge of this situation, Marvel Café will have opened itself to possible legal action; which may eventually cause heavy losses to this seemingly new eatery on the block.
While such legal action may seem like a bleak possibility, it would be smart on the part of Marvel Café to immediately change its name to something that’s not illegal under Indian Trademark Laws; lest the Comic Book Company shows up with a legal notice on its doorstep!