It seems as thought the topic who owns the right to make “Bumblebee” named toys will be settled in a court of law if Warner Bros and Hasbro can’t come to an agreement. Hasbro has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and DC Comics alleging a trademark violation over the use of the name “BumbleBee”.
Hasbro has filed a complaint in court alleging that Warner Bros. and DC Comics is in violation of their their trademark by using the name Bumblebee in an upcoming line of toys. Hasbro owns the rights to the Transformers property which includes all toys relating to the character Bumblebee, one of the more popular characters from that franchise. The character, who was created in 1983, is so popular that he will be getting his own spin-off movie expected to be released around Christmas 2018.
The character of Bumblebee in the DC comics universe was created around 1977 and is generally portrayed as a teenage girl/woman with the power to shrink and in some story arcs can fire energy blasts. One version of the character was recently redesigned to appear along side teenage versions of other characters such as Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Harley Quinn in DC Super Hero Girls.
DC is working with Mattel and even Lego to bring a series of toys and sets to retail, which include their version of Bumblebee, so Hasbro believes that will infringe on their rights to produce toys with their Transformers version of the character. Hasbro acquired the trademark to make Bumblebee toys only recently on December 22, 2015.
Hasbro has alleged the following:
“Defendants’ and/or their licensees’ use of the Accused Mark is likely to cause consumers mistakenly to believe that the Accused Goods emanate from or are otherwise associated with Hasbro,” the suit alleges. “Such improper use of the Accused Mark by Defendants and/or their licensees is likely to cause confusion, mistake and/or deception among the public as to the source of the Accused Goods.”
As of now Warner Bros has not released any comment on this story.