Hasbro Files Suit Against DC Comics Over ‘Bumblebee’ Trademark

Two superhero franchises are about to square off in federal court over the right to market “Bumblebee” toys.

Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday 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 has a lot riding on the “Bumblebee” character, set to star in the first Transformers spinoff, which is due in theaters at Christmas 2018.

The company is now seeking to block the sales of Mattel’s Bumblebee toy, which is part of the DC Super Hero Girls line of action figures. Hasbro is also concerned about a Bumblebee Lego set.

Bumblebee is one of the central heroes of the Transformers universe. Hasbro says that it began selling Bumblebee toys in 1983, and has been selling building-block toy sets with the Bumblebee brand since 2011. Hasbro touts an online article that ranked Bumblebee fourth on a list of the “Top 25 Transformers.”

DC Comics and Warner Bros. announced the DC Super Hero Girls franchise in April 2015 as a partnership with Mattel. The TV series began airing in October 2015. The series features younger versions of DC superheroes, including Batgirl and Harley Quinn, as they attend high school. The Bumblebee character is a tech wizard with super strength and the ability to shrink. The original Bumblebee character was first introduced in the DC “Teen Titans” comic series in 1977.

Hasbro filed for a trademark on the “Bumblebee” name on July 15, 2015, and the trademark was registered on Dec. 22, 2015.

“Defendants’ and/or their licensees’ use of the Accused Mark is likely to cause consumers mistakenly to believe that the Accused Goods emanate from or are otherwise associated with Hasbro,” the suit alleges. “Such improper use of the Accused Mark by Defendants and/or their licensees is likely to cause confusion, mistake and/or deception among the public as to the source of the
Accused Goods.”

Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in

    Harvey Weinstein Hit With Second Sex Trafficking Suit Over Alleged Cannes Rape

    Two superhero franchises are about to square off in federal court over the right to market “Bumblebee” toys. Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — […]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor's Ari Emanuel to Receive Variety Vanguard Award at Mipcom

    Two superhero franchises are about to square off in federal court over the right to market “Bumblebee” toys. Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — […]

  • Lowell Peterson strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: WGA East Leader Lowell Peterson Guides Writers Through a Fast-Changing Business

    Two superhero franchises are about to square off in federal court over the right to market “Bumblebee” toys. Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — […]

  • Les Moonves Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Leslie Moonves Quoted 'The Godfather' to Prepare for Redstone Battle

    Two superhero franchises are about to square off in federal court over the right to market “Bumblebee” toys. Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — […]

  • Jon Stewart Helps Rescue Goats That

    Jon Stewart Helps Rescue Goats That Captured New York's Attention

    Two superhero franchises are about to square off in federal court over the right to market “Bumblebee” toys. Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — […]

  • Manuela Herzer

    Manuela Herzer Cites CBS-NAI Fight in Renewed Bid for Sumner Redstone Competency Ruling

    Two superhero franchises are about to square off in federal court over the right to market “Bumblebee” toys. Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — […]

  • A trading post sports the Spotify

    Sony Music's $750 Million Spotify 'Windfall' Leaves Some Lingering Questions

    Two superhero franchises are about to square off in federal court over the right to market “Bumblebee” toys. Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content