Hasbro and DC Comics Settle ‘Bumblebee’ Trademark Dispute

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Bumblebee Vs. Bumblebee
Bumblebee Vs. Bumblebee

Hasbro and DC Comics have settled a trademark lawsuit, in which the Transformers toymaker sought to block sales of a Mattel doll based on the DC superhero Bumblebee, a teenage girl with the ability to shrink. Hasbro sued DC and Warner Bros. last year, arguing that consumers might confuse the doll with its own Bumblebee, the yellow Autobot.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Judge Lorna Schofield, of the Southern District of New York, ordered the case dismissed on Wednesday upon receiving a settlement notice from DC’s attorneys.

The DC Comics character of Bumblebee was created before the Hasbro Transformers character. DC’s version debuted in the pages of the Teen Titans comic book in 1977, while Hasbro’s character was created in 1983. Hasbro applied and received an official trademark for the character’s name in 2015.

DC Comics’ Bumblebee in recent years has seen a revival, specifically by Mattel’s DC Super Hero Girls line of action figures, dolls, comic books, and cartoons, as well as an appearance in the Cartoon Network series Young Justice.

Hasbro originally filed a lawsuit on August 28, 2017 in federal court accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — could easily be confused with the Autobot “Bumblebee.”

Hasbro was seeking to block the sales of Mattel’s Bumblebee toy. Hasbro was also concerned about a Bumblebee Lego set. With DC’s settlement notice, the future of the character within DC Super Hero Girls future releases, could be in doubt.

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