DC Comics v. Powers

465 F. Supp. 843 (1978)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

DC Comics v. Powers

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
465 F. Supp. 843 (1978)

SC

Facts

DC Comics (plaintiff) owned the Superman franchise. The “Daily Planet” was the name of a newspaper in the franchise that employed Superman’s alter ego. The franchise was created in 1938, and the Daily Planet first appeared in 1940. The Daily Planet became integral to the franchise. DC Comics licensed Superman for use with many different kinds of products. The franchise was generally licensed as a bundle, including all characters and other facets of the franchise. The Daily Planet was never explicitly included in a licensing agreement, but it was used on licensed products. Jerry Powers (defendant) owned Daily Planet, Inc., which was formed in 1969 as an underground news publication. The paper was published sporadically between 1969 and 1973. The paper replicated the Daily Planet logo from Superman and made many Superman references in its issues. The paper never gained national appeal and went out of business in 1973. Powers had obtained a trademark for the Daily Planet in 1970 but later let the trademark lapse. The trademark was cancelled in 1976. Neither party registered a trademark for Daily Planet thereafter. With DC Comics planning a Superman movie release, Powers planned to resuscitate his newspaper. DC Comics sued Powers for common-law trademark infringement. Powers admitted that he was aware of the Superman franchise’s use of the Daily Planet mark. DC Comics moved for a preliminary injunction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Duffy, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 736,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 736,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 736,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership