It's superheroes versus Transformers, but the battlefield is a court of law instead of the big screen.
As Transformers fans well know, the lovable Bumblebee continues to be one of the most popular Autobots in the franchise. You might be less aware of the DC Comics Bumblebee, who currently operates in WB's DC Super Hero Girls. Hasbro wants to prevent confusion from setting in, however, and so they've sued Warner Bros. and DC Comics.
Hasbro filed the suit on Monday, which says that Warner Bros. and DC are infringing on their Bumblebee trademark. They're also stating that fans could easily confuse the two characters since they have the same name.
Now, just for context, the Transformers Bumblebee is at times either a bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle or a yellow Chevy Camaro, both of which turn into a giant walking robot. The DC Super Heroes version is a young female hero who has the ability to shrink and looks like an actual bumblebee with wings. Not exactly identical twins here. Here's a relevant bit from Variety's report:
“Defendants’ and/or their licensees’ use of the Accused Mark is likely to cause consumers mistakenly to believe that the Accused Goods emanate from or are otherwise associated with Hasbro,” the suit alleges. “Such improper use of the Accused Mark by Defendants and/or their licensees is likely to cause confusion, mistake and/or deception among the public as to the source of the Accused Goods.”
Now, Hasbro does hold the actual trademark for Bumblebee, which they filed on July 15, 2015. It was officially registered on December 22nd of that year, and though the DC Comics character predates the Transformer (1977 vs.1983), that trademark might be an issue for the studio.
Hasbro is currently seeking to block sales of the DC Super Hero Girls Bumblebee toys, as well as the Bumblebee-starring LEGO set, itself also based on DC Super Hero Girls. Hasbro's protective nature is probably due to their upcoming Bumblebee spin-off film.
Warner Bros. isn't going to let this go without a fight though, so expect for this to go on for a while before any resolution is achieved.