Warner Bros. and Whataburger are in a “friendly” discussion over the similarity between Wonder Woman’s “stacked W” logo and the logo of the burger chain, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. Warner owns DC Comics, which started using the logo in 1982. Whataburger’s logo was first used in 1972, so it has the edge in case of a trademark dispute.
Why wait over 30 years to address this? Next year, Warner will release a Wonder Woman film, so a potential blockbuster raises the stakes.
Of course, just because logos are similar doesn’t mean there’s a trademark infringement and damages. You have to satisfy “likelihood of confusion” tests, which vary by jurisdiction. One way to show this is through the use of consumer surveys. For more information on this, BVR recently conducted a webinar, Damages Estimation and Valuation: How to Use Survey Research, with Leon Kaplan (Princeton Research & Consulting Center) and Larry Chiagouris (BrandMarketing Services).