VALIANT IP FIGHT OVER|
New York, NY, December 28, 2007 - The trademark intellectual property fight between Valiant Entertainment and Valiant Intellectual Properties that has continued for two years in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and in Federal Court is now over with Valiant Entertainment owning all Valiant-related trademarks, including Valiant Intellectual Properties-filed trademark applications.
The conflict began soon after Valiant Entertainment acquired all rights to the Valiant Comics library of characters from videogame publisher Acclaim Entertainment’s estate in June 2005. It was discovered that during the sale to Valiant Entertainment a newly formed company called Valiant Intellectual Properties LLC (VIP) had filed intent-to-use trademark applications for certain Valiant-related trademarks that were owned but not correctly renewed by Acclaim’s estate. These Valiant-related intent-to-use trademark applications included Valiant, Harbinger, Eternal Warrior, Rai and the Future Force, Quantum & Woody, Outcast, Dr. Mirage, The Visitor, Ninjak, Deathmate, Bloodshot, Punx, and Secret Weapons.
Valiant Entertainment filed oppositions to these VIP-filed trademark applications in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. However, the process can take years to reach fruition and prevented the distribution by Diamond Comics Distributors of Valiant Entertainment’s highly-anticipated Harbinger: The Beginning hardcover collection featuring a new story by Jim Shooter. The hardcover collection was subsequently distributed by Valiant Entertainment directly to retailers.
During this time, VIP released an ashcan at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con containing recognizable Valiant trademarks, such as Harbinger and Eternal Warrior, alongside completely unrecognizable character sketches. Despite trying to circumvent Valiant Entertainment’s copyrights, VIP’s attempted use of Valiant-related trademarks in an effort to strengthen their applications enabled Valiant Entertainment to file a lawsuit on August 29 against VIP in the Southern District of New York Federal Court for trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, false description, and false representation. Last month, a settlement agreement was reached between the parties.
“The lawsuit Valiant Entertainment filed to protects its intellectual property against VIP LLC has been resolved to Valiant Entertainment’s satisfaction. Valiant Entertainment owns all copyrights and trademarks to the Valiant and Acclaim characters, including all right, title, interest, and associated goodwill to the VIP-filed trademark applications,” said Jason Kothari, CEO of Valiant Entertainment.
He added, “I would like to thank the loyal Valiant fans for their continued support and Blank Rome LLP for their outstanding work.”
Valiant Entertainment’s HARBINGER: THE BEGINNING hardcover collection featuring a new “Origin of Harada” story by comics’ legend Jim Shooter is being resolicited in the February 2008 issue of Diamond’s Previews.
Valiant Entertainment’s X-O MANOWAR: BIRTH hardcover collection featuring a new “The Rise of Lydia” story by Valiant co-architect Bob Layton and a new cover by Sean Chen is being solicited in the February 2008 issue of Diamond’s Previews and will be in stores in April 2008.
About Valiant Entertainment
Valiant Entertainment is a character-based entertainment company that owns and manages some of the most popular comic characters ever created across all media, including feature films, television, video games, new media, publishing, and consumer products. Since their creation in 1990, Valiant characters have sold 80 million comic books, 8 million video games, and Valiant became one of the three leading comic character-based companies globally. In addition, the “Valiant characters are often called the most important characters created since the Marvel revolution of the 1960s” (Sequart, 2006). VALIANT™ characters include X-O MANOWAR®, BLOODSHOT®, HARBINGER™, ETERNAL WARRIOR™, DOCTOR MIRAGE™, NINJAK™, SHADOWMAN®, RAI™, and QUANTUM & WOODY™, among many others. Visit ValiantEntertainment.com for more information.