Fast food chain Whataburger is in talks with DC to be sure that a recent, broad-reaching trademark application for Wonder Woman's latest logo redesign doesn't interfere with their ability to use their own decades-old "Flying W" logo.
First reported at Bleeding Cool as a potential clash of marketing titans, the Houston Chronicle got in touch with a spokesman for Whataburger, who told the paper that they were currently engaged in friendly talks with DC, and their primary concern is protecting their own logo and trademark, not sparring over whether DC can register their own.
“Whataburger anticipates a positive discussion with DC Comics and a resolution of that discussion that will be acceptable to both parties,” the spokesperson told Chron.com.
Quizzed about reports that their initial reaction to the tradmark application was hostile, the restaurant chain assured the Chronicle that wasn't the case.
“Contrary to some suggestions, Whataburger is not at war with Wonder Woman over her newly redesigned logo. In fact, Whataburger supports superheroes like Wonder Woman and her friends in the Justice League,” a Whataburger company spokesperson wrote in a statement. “Truth be told, Whataburger’s own superhero – Whataguy – would love to team up with Wonder Woman and her friends sometime to battle evil together.”
That wouldn't be unprecedented: DC's heroes have recently teamed up with KFC's fast food mascot, Colonel Sanders, in a pair of multiverse-hopping (and surprisingly good) one-shots. And seemingly every year at Comic Con, some company or another decides to team up their mascot or custom-made superhero with Marvel and DC icons.
So why did this even become an issue, if it sounds all parties are pretty much on the same page?
“While Whataburger noted Wonder Woman’s registration of her prior stacked W logo as a trademark in 1985, it did so without a great deal of concern given the version of Wonder Woman’s logo at that time was somewhat different than Whataburger’s Flying W logo, and in particular because Wonder Woman’s logo was registered for comic books, not food, beverages or restaurant services,” the spokesperson wrote. The current logo registration, though, was accompanied by trademark requests for a wide variety of products including food and beverage items.
DC has a history with such issues. In the not-too-distant past, rumor had it they tried to force DC Shoes to change their logo, which somewhat resembled DC's then-current logo, only to learn that DC Entertainment had failed to file the correct trademark protections and they had no case.
Suicide Squad is now in theaters; Wonder Woman is coming on June 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.