Much like his hit AMC television series and Image Comics ongoing series, Robert Kirkman’s legal fight over the term “Walking Dead” continues to go on with no end in sight.
In April, the creator of “The Walking Dead” claimed individuals intending to open a Greek health food restaurant in New Jersey called “Walking Dead” are attempting to “usurp the renown” of the “highest rated program in the history of cable television.” Kirkman seeks to protect his trademark from marketplace dilution.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, defendants Philip Theodorou, Steven Theodorou, Anna Theodorou and Mohamed Elkady, have counter-argued in a new defense brief that while Kirkman’s series shares the name, his use of it “has not acquired distinctiveness through secondary meaning” and that he cannot “assume ‘all exclusive rights to a trademark title.'” They go on to point out that the phrase “walking dead” has been used for decades to refer to a variety of works in pop culture, going all the way back to Boris Karloff’s 1936 film, “The Walking Dead.”
In effect, they’re claiming “Walking Dead” is too generic to trademark.
A new brief filed this week by Kirkman states that while “walking dead” has been used for decades, his instance of it is the first time it has been used as a trademark.
In his original brief, he also pointed out the defendants’ previous history of attempting to trademark other famous phrases, such as “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” and “Make America Great Again.”
Both claims are currently awaiting final judgment.
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