I have had several communications with DC/Marvel lawyer, Jonathan Reichman, who has made several misleading promises. Jonathan Reichman repeatedly gave me the impression that an out of court settlement could be reached. The reality is that he doesn't call the shots and is there to waste my time.
With each of Kenyon and Kenyon LLP court extensions, they literally gave me the run around by dangling a variety of offers/ carrots that ended up being a bill of false goods and outlandish promises. Each time, when I attempted to contact them after each initial extension that they filed they suddenly would “not be available”, “Out of the office” or “on vacation”.
I would get such responses until a following court extension would be granted by the courts and then they would repeat the cycle to wind me down towards hopelessness. Some of there offers were to “pay for re-filing a new mark without the use of superheroes”, “offers of a cash settlement where they would purchase the registered mark from me”, and “ have a signed contract between DC and Marvel that I would be allowed to use my mark without competition of them creating a comic book publication using the same name “ A World Without SuperHeroes” if I decided to drop the registration.
They went further to offer me that I could publish my book with use of a “TM.” as long as I drop the registration. Kenyon and Kenyon LLP, has blantantly lied and made false promises in order for me to cease using my own mark “Cup O Java Studio A World Without SuperHEroes” In fact, DC Comics recently publish a book “Earth 2” with the subtext stating “In a World Without Heroes” on their comic publications cover.
I am a school teacher, a family man and a have a start up company called “Bronx Heroes Comic Con” it is a comic convention educating American citizens and residents within the Bronx community about careers in the comic industry. I have had special guest who've work for DC and Marvel come out to speak positive things about the comics industry. This Trademark case has made me lose faith in the comics industry and the court system which allowed the word “Super Heroes”, a generic term, to be owned by two major corporation.
DC Comics/ Warner Bros and Marvel/Disney have created a monoply in the comics industry on a word that can be found in almost any English Dictionary: "Super Hero". It's not legal, but the government was sleeping at the wheel and has allowed them to jointly own this registered mark.
These corporations who now in turn sue any other comic independent comics creator for using a generic term which is found in the dictionary and is synonymous with the youths pop culture since the 1920's.
I can't afford a lawyer. No lawyer is willing to take this case without $10,000 upfront. I found one good lawyer, Charles Coleman, but he's $350 per hr. The lesson here kids is that I should have been a lawyer and not a teacher. I have no choice but to represent myself. I'm “David” pitted to fight against “Goliath” except in the 21st Century "Goliath" wins. All I want is to keep these corporations from registering, then suing Americans for publishing words in the English language dictionary. For if companies like DC and Marvel comics are allowed to continue to trademark and register generic terms then we the American people won't have a language left to speak. Think about it. It's not just Marvel and DC its every corporation out there.
Imagine the absurdity in these terms. If I were to register the terms "Jesus", "God", "Jehovah", "Yehweh", "Buddha", "Krishna", "Vishnu", "Mohammad" and "Satan". Then the government accepts and publishes my registered mark as a trademark. Technically, I now "own" the word. Now in order to protect my registered mark, I have to pay another company to monitor and report back to me any other business or individual who is using these terms in commerce. Once, I get that get that data, I then in turn hire out the most powerful lawyers on the east coast to represent me by going after and threatening these other organizations, businesses and individuals from using those names or any variation of the terms "Jesus", "God", "Jehovah", "Yehweh", "Buddha", "Krishna", "Vishnu", "Mohammad" and "Satan", because these other organizations are infringing on the rights of my registered mark. That is the very crux of the issue. It's not about the word" Super Hero" as it is more so about claiming ownership over our language and expression. The insane logic held by corporations today is in fact infringing on our freedoms of expression and speech as Americans, and more so, as a human species.
Reinaldo T. Felix
Please alos note that a certificate of service to Kenyon and Kenyon Llp was given notice on my Motion to re-open just earlier today. The letter below is addressed to them and was mailed out. This includes my response which did not successfully go through the ESTTA system which created the result of Abandoned.
November 19, 2012
Jonathan D. Reichman, Esq.
Kenyon and Kenyon LLP
One Broadway New York, NY 10004
Reinaldo, T. Felix
Bronx Heroes Comic Con, LLC
3130 Grand Concourse, suite 2N
Bronx, New York 10458
Dear Johnathan Reichman,
I am notifying you that I am filing a MOTION TO RE-OPEN on
Opposition No. 91204438, DC Comics and Marvel Characters, Inc.
v. Reinaldo T. Felix, Opposition No. 91204438, DC Comics and Marvel Characters, Inc. v. Reinaldo T. Felix. Apparently, there was a computer error which did not allow me to file my response correctly and the error on the USPTO website continued. It may have been a browser issue or the USPTO website may have been under going service operations. After speaking with the staff at the USPTO, the issue of why remains unresolved. Attached to this letter is my response to the office action which is being mailed out to your office of Kenyon and Kenyon.
If you have any questions regarding this case you may call me at: 718 938 1343.
Reinaldo T. Felix
Dear Dear your honor,
This email was originally sent to a lawyer that I was trying to hire, and cc'd Johnathan Reichman, representing the Kenyon and Kenyon suit for DC/Marvel. It was originally sent by me on April 4th, 2012.
Your honor, it has been frustrating for me because for one I do not have the means to hire an attorney and when I follow up with Johnathan Riechman, I am always told that he is not in the office, on vacation, or in a meeting. These reasons are given whenever I have called his office in order to settle this matter like civil adults, which Johnathan Reichman agreed to do but has yet to fulfill.
My trademark, “ Cup O Java Studio A World Without SuperHeroes”, does not conflict with DC SuperHeroes or Marvel Superheroes, because SuperHeroes is a generic term which is found in several dictionaries whichh was stated below in the body text of my email to Kenyon and Kenyon rep. Johnathan Reichman.
It is a term utilized by several media outlets daily to describe someone heroic and was not invented by either DC or Marvel comics. The term “Super hero” originated from a western silent film in 1907 and later used in News Paper stips to describe characters like Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Zorro, and Mandrake the Magician. Characters which are not owned by either firm. Please dismiss this case in my favor this case has eroded my peace of mind due to the fact that a company like Marvel entertainment which made over one billion dollars in the box office worldwide in one weekend which out of that $207,438,708 was nationwide, when they released “The Avengers” this summer and another one hundred and forty million its first six days of its Spiderman reboot. On opening weekend Spiderman made $114,844,116. Meanwhile DC comics/Warner Bros. Rolled in $160,887,295 on opening weekend beating its record in 2008 which was $158,411,483. That's one weekend. I've been harassed for my trademark for about a year now on a property that I've been publishing since 2002 and never made over $10,000. in nearly 10 years. The simple fact is that greed has reached obesity levels in this country with these corporations and they've created a monopoly on one hand and attacking any likely competitors in the independent comic book market by shear intimidation. I have a friend name Miguel Guerra, who also put out a comic called “Superheroes Inc.”, which Kenyon and Kenyon harassed for several months. To avoid legal action Miguel changed his title to “Super Incorporated Heroes”, and the law firm persisted to harass him. Miguel went into a deep depression and contemplated suicide. His fear of being sued by the same companies that created “Superman”, “Batman”, “Captain America”.were bullying him to stop being inspired and creative as an artist. Miguel and I, worshiped these heros as children. We were inspired to go to college to study and make a career in comics. Upon graduation we could not be employed by these companies because they were beyond our reach. Instead of giving up hope, artists like Miguel and myself, created our own comics, with our own characters. We both sacrificed endless hours to draw, write and create compelling stories for friends and family members to read. Then finally, these monolithic corporations who have possession of our childhood heart strings bombard us with lawyers phoning us with threats and warnings and “cease and desist” notifications. They are evil and should not be able to do this. It is people like Miguel and myself , that made these companies properties viable in the market today. We are not the typical comic fan. We invested our childhood and adulthood by investing in comics. I have wasted thousands of dollars on comic books, comic lectures, college courses in comics. Currently, I personally, have had my own comic convention here In the Bronx for five years and promoting it as an educational tool for young people. I am developing a private school to teach comics. I've taught art for twelve years as an educator for the Dept. of Education in New York City.
Comic books are my life. Miguel grew frustrated and moved to Spain. He grew disgusted by these lawyers threats. He was truly afraid for his family and his own well being. I lost a friend because of these lawyers. They publish dreams and imagination and encourage children to dream and by their products , only to sue them when we've grown up and begin to live out those dreams. DC and Marvel are worse than the cigarette companies. Because they don't destroy your health, they destroy your soul. What's worse they are demonizing and betraying the very product in which they sell: The American Dream.
PS: Below are actual figures these companies made at the box office. It's from the website:http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/weekends/.
Marvel's The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
The Dark Knight
This is my original email CC'd to Kenyon and Kenyon.
Ray Felix email@example.com to: Charles Colman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
cc: "Reichman, Jonathan" <JReichman@kenyon.com>
date: Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 11:06 AMsubject: Re: Fwd: Super-Hero trademark cases...mailed-by: gmail.com
In response to the notice of Opposition filed by behalf of Marvel and DC comic characters against my trademark "Cup O Java Studio Comix A World Without SuperHeroes".
First off: My address had been updated with Kenyon and Kenyon, 3 months ago by phone, but all documents have been sent to my old home address. Thus delaying my time to respond. My new address is: 3130 Grand Concourse, Apt. # 2N, Bronx New York 10458.
I am requesting that all documents filed in the case which have been submitted to the USPTO be corrected. Documents filed was entered as " A World Without SuperHeroes". I do not possess a trademark which would cause confusion of the DC and Marvel mark "Super Heroes" because my mark clearly indicates "Cup O Java Studio Comix", emphasized with a logo clearly representing a company not associated with DC or Marvel Comics, followed by the words "A World Without SuperHeroes", which clearly indicates that the characters in my publication are NOT SuperHeroes nor demonstrate behavior which is Super heroic. In fact, the context of my story is science fiction which include fictional governmental agencies and deals with American History, Politics and Post War veterans from the Vietnam War. The title represents the literal element of the context which is advertised quite clearly and without misrepresentation.
Also, the literal mark of "Super Hero" sample is a factory tag from 1967. Not of a product in commerce to be sold to date. As an avid reader and fan of DC and Marvel Comics for 38 years and a seller of their products online in the past, I can attest that Ben Cooper Super Hero costume products have not been utilized as a literal element to promote or sell Ben Cooper costume products since the re-issue of remade Ben cooper costumes in the late1980's. More recent costumes sold in commerce are not under Ben Cooper and are not produced by Marvel or Dc comics. Rather, they are licensed by independent companies that market costume products indicating clearly, "Spider-Man", "Superman", "Batman" and "Iron Man", not Super Heroes. Names of such costumes are protected under individual registered marks. The word Super Heroes is not the title of the product, nor does it sell costumed products dependent on such a mark. Characters owned by DC and Marvel are internationally recognized as pulp heroes defined as "Mystery Men", "Costumed characters", "Caped Crusaders" or "Masked Avengers"and are not dependent on the definition or term Super Hero(es) to determine sales of products which are not sold under the literal element and cannot be protect under trademark laws.
Also, The "Super Hero" mark indicates that there are publications in commerce which indicates clearly that there is a periodical or product being sold under its registered mark, "Super Hero". In that of itself no monthly, quarterly or annual publication exist. In fact, the term "Super Hero" is seldom used in publications in print by DC and Marvel. The concept of a super hero and the term itself is understood by readers of comics as an abstract concept like God, Jesus, Zeus, Hercules Mercury, Beowulf or the Devil. The term Super Hero is literally a modern day mythology and represents a genre of fiction. Not a specific person or persons. Generally, in the news media a super hero can be defined as any average human being willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, thus appearing super heroic. Police men, Fire fighters, US service men and women can be viewed as a Super Hero for their brave and heroic deeds performed. Periodically, sports figures are often depicted as a Super Hero for their Athletic ability and physique. Musicians, rock stars like Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Queen, Kiss or Earth, Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga are often described as super heroic because of their flashy outfits, their unique personalities and their ability to inspire fans through the their music.
Super Hero is a generic term used daily by the mass majority to describe incredible athletic feats, people of merit who have the ability to inspire others and to describe incredible events which are great, different or miraculous.
Literatures first Super Heroes in history were Jesus Christ, Moses, David and Golitah,Noah's Ark, Buddha, The Monkey King, Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Hercules, Jason and the Argonauts, Beowulf, Cesar, Alexander the Great, Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Earp, Davey Crocket and Uncle Sam.
Comics such as Spider-man, Iron man, Batman or Super Man do not publish text indicating that such characters are super heroes within the context of their registered names.
In fact, there is no monthly comic book title that is published by either company which indicates the word "Super Heroes".
In direct conflict to the concept of the term "Super Heroes", both companies emphasis that their own marks that Spider-Man in fifty years of its publication has been known as "Amazing Fantasy", "the Amazing Spider-Man, the Spectacular Spider-Man" an "the Avenging Spider-Man". No text on its title indicate that Spider-man is a superhero. Since 1963, Spider-man has been known as a scientist, a menace to society, a super criminal, a heart breaker and and often portrayed as a vigilante, not a super hero. Peter Parker is a teenager with good intentions, who performs good deeds,but is considered a tragic hero, because he is never given credit for his heroic efforts. He is not a Super Hero.
In the titles of Iron Man since 1963, has been known as "Tales of Suspense featuring Iron Man" and "The Invincible Iron Man". The character Tony Stark is known as a scientist, an alcoholic, a womanizer and an industrial weapons manufacturer through an agency known as Shield. Iron Man is not a Super Hero, he's Halliburton. He is also drawn since 1963, to resemble Howard Hughes who was an inventor, not a Super Hero. There is not literal element on the covers of Iron Man that indicates that he is a superhero.
Titles which of Batman which first appeared in 1938, was 'Detective Comics #28", "Batman", "Batman: The Dark Knight", "Batman and the Outsiders" , "Batman Family" and "Batman and Robin", in the last seventy years there does not exist a title which suggest that Batman is a Super Hero. Nor has there been a title of Batman published advertising "Batman: Super Hero". This is because Batman is a masked vigilante ie. a criminal who does not abide by societies laws, and a dark knight detective. Batman is a detective who uses illegal and unorthodox methods solves cases. Not a Super Hero. There is no comic book cover ever published from DC comics indicating that Batman is a Super Hero.
In the Case of Superman originally published 1939 in "Action Comics", has also never had a comic titled in seventy years incorporating the word "Super Hero". Unlesss it is used in generic terms.
In fact, Superman titles include, "Action Comics", The Adventures of Superman", "Super Man: Man of Steel", "Super Man family" and "Superman". Although superman does super heroic acts in his publications he is an Alien from another world impersonating a human, not a Super Hero.
In all accounts, Super man is an illegal alien, and a foreigner without proper documentation of being an American citizen who hides his identity as a white male reporter. Not a Super Hero, rather a Super Alien from the planet Krypton masquerading as a weak and average human being who works a blue collar job. That being stated Super Man is not a Super Hero just a good person.
The Incredible Hulk, aka Dr. David Banner is a genetic scientist who becomes a Green monster through gamma rays and is a fugative who is hunted by the US military. The Hulk smashes, destroys and terrorizes the average human being and often fights other costumed avengers. The Hulk is the modern day Dr. Jekyll and and Mr. Hyde, not a Super Hero.
Also, the term "Super Hero" is a word that can be found in most dictionaries. It does not depict any image of properties own or licensed by either company DC or Marvel entertainment.
This being stated, the word Super Hero should not be trademarked because it falls under the laws of public domain.
su·per·he·ro [soo-per-heer-oh] Show IPA
noun, plural -roes.
a hero, especially in children's comic books and television cartoons, possessing extraordinary, often magical powers.
he·ro [heer-oh] Show IPA
noun, plural -roes; for 5 also -ros.
a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
Classical Mythology .
a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
(in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
(in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.