Godzilla Takes On Comcast Over Trademark

from the this-should-be-fun dept

We all know that Monster Cable has a long history of being overly aggressive when it comes to trademarks, but it's not the only trademark "monster" out there. Apparently, Toho, the owners of the trademark on the monster Godzilla are equally, if not more aggressive. In Godzilla's latest battle, he's not taking on Mothra, but Comcast. Apparently, Comcast is running some sort of ad campaign for "Comcast Town" which looks sorta like its own version of Sim City. But within this Town, there's a monster that will sometimes stop by and destroy things... and (yup) that monster bears a passing resemblance to Godzilla, and Toho is not happy. And, apparently, you don't want to make Godzilla's lawyers angry (yes, mixing fictional angry character tag lines here...). Comcast, for its part, denies that the character is Godzilla, though Toho doesn't buy it. Of course, you might ask where's the actual "harm" here, as it would seem to only help advertise Godzilla and Godzilla movies -- though, Toho would likely argue that the harm is in Comcast not licensing the character (or the potential idea that this makes Godzilla "generic").


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 4:55am

    You know... as long as Comcast gets the smack down... it's worth it. After their crappy service for the last 5 years, I'm not going to defend them for a second.

     

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    nunyo, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 5:03am

    Godzilla is pissed

    When Godzilla signed his deal with Toho, he was given no reason to believe that his label would work so hard to stifle the promotion of his character and work. While on hiatus he has found and retained a team of Velociraptors with law degrees. They'll soon be filing suit against Toho in West Texas.

     

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      Luke Stackwalker, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:18am

      Re: Godzilla is pissed

      I thought it was in East Texas, do they just do patents and the TM stuff goes west?

       

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        nunyo, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:39am

        Re: Re: Godzilla is pissed

        If you go far enough East, you'll find yourself in the West.

        All kidding aside, I do believe that you're right, I stand corrected.

         

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      ikegami, Aug 14th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

      Re: Godzilla is pissed

      When Godzilla signed his deal with Toho, he was given no reason to believe that his label would work so hard to stifle the promotion of his character and work.

      Your pronoun usage is incorrect. Godzilla is a female.

       

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    BOC, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 5:11am

    Oh No

    There goes Tokyo

    Godzilla !

     

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    Matt, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 5:18am

    Maybe They could make it more obvious

    Why doesn't Comcast just slap a HUGE flashing logo at the bottom that says "This is NOT GODZILLA!" Then the public, and Toho Would quickly understand this is some other giant green city crushing monster

     

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      Dustin, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 7:41am

      Re: Maybe They could make it more obvious

      Reminds me of that scene from Austin Powers in Goldmember:

      Guy1: Run, it's Godzilla!
      Guy2: It looks like Godzilla, but due to international copyright laws, it's not.
      Guy1: Still we should run like it is Godzilla.
      Guy2: Though it isn't.

      Hah, looking at the youtube video Guy2 is Hiro from Heroes.

       

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    Dave (profile), Aug 11th, 2009 @ 5:21am

    Raymond Burr smokes a pipe and says...

    "Yes, I see."

     

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    pegr, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 5:59am

    Upon consideration of the work in question...

    That's Godzilla, no doubt about it. That, or his evil twin.

     

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      Falindraun (profile), Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:13am

      Re: Upon consideration of the work in question...

      ...evil? If godzilla is not the evil twin I would hate to see what the evil twin does to a city.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:40am

        Re: Re: Upon consideration of the work in question...

        "...evil? If godzilla is not the evil twin I would hate to see what the evil twin does to a city."

        Isn't the evil twin supposed to be the exact opposite? Wouldn't that mean Godzilla's evil twin is volunteering with habitat for humanity?

         

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      Luke Stackwalker, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:16am

      Re: Upon consideration of the work in question...

      So that would be his evil twin MoZilla so that monster can get in on the action too!

       

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    technomage (profile), Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:04am

    Have to disagree with you on this one mike...

    I am going to have to back ToHo on this one. You ask where is the actual "harm"? How about the fact that Comcast has a less than favorable reputation. ToHo, like most businesses only want their products associated with the best representatives. If they didn't do this, then it *could* look like an endorsement of ToHo for Comcast. Which, in my opinion, could do some great harm to Godzilla's Image. The harm is not in being displayed, but with who you are associated with.

     

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      Robert Ring (profile), Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:17am

      Re: Have to disagree with you on this one mike...

      Actually, I'm going to have to agree with technomage here.

       

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      AC, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 7:00am

      Re: Have to disagree with you on this one mike...

      I agree with technomage as well. It looks just like Godzilla and looks to be doing what Godzilla is typically doing while on the job.

       

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      MCS, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 7:15am

      Re: Have to disagree with you on this one mike...

      Well said,

      I agree completely.

       

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      kevjohn (profile), Aug 12th, 2009 @ 6:37am

      Re: Have to disagree with you on this one mike...

      I'm in total agreement with you and pegr up there. Mike is a bit off on this one. That doesn't "bear a passing resemblance to Godzilla", that IS that MFer!! Next up for Comcast advertising: The Beetuls, starring Jon, Pau, Jorge, and Rengo.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:09am

    So hard to keep my hippie morals when someone attacks Comcast...urge....arrrrgh! I can't help it... NOOOOOOOOOO....

    Smash them Toho! Smash them good!

     

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    hegemon13, Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    More than a passing resemblance

    Comcast can deny it all they want, but that is a lot more than a passing resemblance. If it was just a big green dragon/dinosaur, it would be one thing, but this even has the signature Godzilla back plates (or whatever you want to call those spiky things sticking up from his spine). I can certainly see the argument that this makes the character generic.

     

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    Sailingmaster (profile), Aug 11th, 2009 @ 6:54am

    ummm...

    I wouldn't be surprised if some of the purpose behind the lawsuit was to ensure that Toho wasn't seen as being connected to Comcast. I know if I was an executive at Toho, I'd be screaming bloody murder at legal to stop Comcast.

    Comcast has abysmal customer service and the ethics of a 14 year old crack whore. I don't blame Toho in the slightest.

     

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    Evil Bastard (profile), Aug 11th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    It's Not Godzilla

    It's Gojira!!

     

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    Hiro Nogano (profile), Aug 11th, 2009 @ 4:12pm

    It's more than just Comcast

    I believe Toho "retired" Godzilla a few years ago for at least a decade. Given all the licensing deals Toho has with various toy manufacturers and such (most of whom were told to stop production on anything new) they may have to pursue this to just avoid being sued by their licensees.

     

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