Monday, November 19, 2012

NEWS: ROM The SpaceKnight Trademark Update

Earlier this month we brought you the news that Hasbro had filed a number of trademarks pertaining to the ROM The SpaceKnight IP and speculated on whether we'd be seeing some new toys or if it was simply a matter of protecting trademarks. Now we may have an answer.

ROM fan EclecticLee has done a little more digging and using the power of MATH and LEGAL STUFF appears to confirm what we suspected: that the trademark applications were indeed simply to renew Hasbro's possession of the IP.

As he explains:

They started with eight: four each for ROM and ROM THE SPACEKNIGHT for four different categories of goods and services. They abandoned all the latter*, but the four for just ROM were approved . . . at different times. That gave Hasbro only six months to use each in commerce. That means they had to actually sell, or at least advertise, something called ROM. However, they're allowed five six-month extensions for a total of three years. Two of them, the ones for toys and paper goods, have reached their maximum extensions and completely expire in January 2013.

So do you want to guess what the two ROM trademarks Hasbro has re-filed for are? If you guessed toys and comic books, you nailed it. I could be wrong, but it appears to me that Hasbro is simply starting the process over for another three years.

One interesting note, however, is that the new trademark applications are much more specific about what they're being filed for. The first is for "comic books" (without all the other paper goods you could think of) and the second is for "toy action figures and toy robots convertible into other visual toy forms". So apparently Rom might be made into a Transformer. Ugh.

* The one for paper goods was abandoned because Marvel trademarked "Spaceknights" for comic books back when the 2000 limited series was published. If I told you registered trademarks had to be renewed every ten years, you might say, "but that means Marvel's reprinting of it this year is too late!" And you'd be right. But that's okay, Marvel's submitted a couple of "specimens" in the meantime to keep the trademark active. Would you care to guess what? Why, the OHOTMU (Official  Handbook Of The Marvel Universe - Informative Iok) entries. One's from the "All-New OHOTMU A-Z" in 2006. The other one is apparently from last year, but I'd have to dig to find the exact comic it came from.

Although ROM may be gone, he's certainly not forgotten - even if it's Hasbro's lawyers who seem interested right now.

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