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OFF BEAT: Judge doesn't want mystery surrounding Batman, Batsman


A British intellectual property regulator apparently believes that the conceptual difference between a cricket player and a fictional vigilante crime fighter is a distinction too nuanced for most consumers to make.

London-based Adelphoi Music Ltd. was told this week by an adjudicator of the U.K. Intellectual Property Office that it will not be permitted to roll out a planned line of cricket-related goods bearing the name Batsman, as it could “easily” be mistaken for products related to Batman, according to a report.

Batsman is the name for a position on a cricket field.

IPO Judge Oliver Morris ruled in favor of New York-based DC Comics Inc.’s bid to protect the Batman trademark against the likelihood of confusion with Adelphoi’s products, the report said.

In his decision, Judge Morris acknowledged there was a conceptual dissonance between a batsman and Batman, presumably because one spends his days hitting small, leather-bound balls with a flattened stick and the other spends his nights punching criminals in the face.

However, Judge Morris noted in his decision, “the marks look and sound so close that the difference in concept is likely to go unnoticed.”

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