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Old 07-25-2006, 05:42 PM   #1
HaphazardJoy
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Using a name that's already in use...?

I've had this comic idea tumbling around in my head for a long while, and was tossing around 'codenames' for characters, and wanted to use the name Fahrenheit for a character who controls temperature. Now there's a Wildstorm character, different gender, different kind of concept, but same name and similar powers. Now I know there's other cases of the same name being used by multiple companies, similar concept even like Marvel and DC both having Scarecrow villains.
Would this be a legal issue?
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:50 PM   #2
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I don't know but I wouldn't risk it. Try re-spelling it or adding something, like FairenHeil like a German Nazi character or Fahrenhight for a Giant type flame character.

Or Fahrenheit 451 or something, I can't think of anything better but I roll names around for awhile.
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:03 PM   #3
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Hmmm... Celsius? Kelvin?

But no, I'd really like to use Fahrenheit, harumph.
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:06 PM   #4
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The worst that can happen is they send out a cease and desist, then you have to change it. Check for copyrights on the name. But with similar powers that might be touchy.
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:15 PM   #5
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You can't copyright just the name, but you could make a trademark of it. It's the combination of that with the powers (which is an obvious power for the name) that worries me. I mean, Marvel and DC having a Scarecrow villain each who scares people, that makes me feel a little better. Obviously I don't want to rip anyone else off, but I would like to use the name. I just don't know where the line falls.
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:24 PM   #6
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Actually Marvel's Scarecrow was originally an contortionist acrobat.
Unless there is a pressing reason for the character to have the same name, I would use another name. They don;t have to send a cease and desist as they can just sue. Cease and Desists are courtesies sent out to avoid spending money on lawsuits
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:30 PM   #7
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Yeah, but he also developed a 'scare' pheremone.

I was originally thinking the name Helios, but I know that's another Marvel character and I've seen someone else around here working on something with that name too.
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:38 PM   #8
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The idea of cracking down merely on a name will have to go away eventually. I mean, eventually we'll run out of words...they can't all be off limits.
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:42 PM   #9
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Well that, and especially such obvious names. Typhon is another name I was looking at, and again, both Marvel and DC have characters of that name (very different characters, Marvel being directly based on the figure from myth). I mean, Marvel couldn't stop someone from doing their own Thor comic, could they?
You can't copyright just a character, but use that character in a piece of fiction and it's protected, where are the lines? I know with cases like mythology or commonly told stories, that the general ideas and plots can be used by multiple people as much as they like.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:03 PM   #10
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The Thors are based upon the myth which is within Public Domain. In theory as long as you didn't use the character's name as a title for your book, it would not be a problem. However, consult a intellectual propperty lawyer before committing too much.
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:35 PM   #11
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spaeking of names and copyrights...
is the word "super-human" (or was it "superhero"?) still copyrighted? i seem to remember the term being owened by marvel and/or dc....

cool hero names are becoming harder and harder to think up.
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Old 07-25-2006, 10:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljamal
The Thors are based upon the myth which is within Public Domain. In theory as long as you didn't use the character's name as a title for your book, it would not be a problem. However, consult a intellectual propperty lawyer before committing too much.
Is that a specialty now...or would you just go to an entertainment lawyer?
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:02 AM   #13
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I read something just recently about DC and Marvel doing tagteam facist action on trying to pin down 'superhero' as their mutual property. For now I think it's still safe, until the corporations take over our souls.
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Old 07-26-2006, 03:21 AM   #14
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Yeah jsut go with something that means the same thing in another language. or older belief system of an ancient race.
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Old 07-26-2006, 04:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaphazardJoy
I read something just recently about DC and Marvel doing tagteam facist action on trying to pin down 'superhero' as their mutual property. For now I think it's still safe, until the corporations take over our souls.
This is very old news that someone recently did a story on and the younger generation thinks it's new news. They jointly own superhero and super-hero and they have for a quite a while....since the late 70's I believe.
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