Valencia again targeted by Batman creators for bat logo
By TALES AZZONI
AP Sports Writer
MADRID (AP) - Batman is coming after Valencia's bat logo.
The Spanish soccer club is again being targeted by DC Comics over the use of its logo, which serves as the centerpiece of its centennial celebrations this year. The comic book makers, who created the superhero Batman, have made another complaint about how the team is using the bat logo .
"The parties have requested an extension of the 'cooling off' period to negotiate a possible deal," the law firm representing Valencia, Garrigues, said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday. "This period can be extended until Oct. 30, 2020."
DC Comics filed a complaint with the European Union's office of intellectual property opposing the trademark application made by Valencia for its centennial logo on a claim there was a "likelihood of confusion" with some of the designs of Batman's symbol.
If a deal is not reached between the parties, the intellectual property office will rule on the case.
Valencia and DC Comics also had a logo dispute a few years ago, but the two sides reached an agreement and the club said at the time that that particular design of the bat was not going to be used.
Valencia said it will not comment on the dispute, and its press office did not answer questions about whether the club would continue to use the logo created for the centennial.
A request for comment from the lawyers representing DC Comics in Spain was not immediately answered.
The new symbol - a modern-looking bat-shaped figure with open wings - has been used in different colors during the team's centennial celebrations this week. The images remain on the team's website and mobile apps, as well as in some online videos.
The design was on the celebratory plaque unveiled at the club's birthplace in the Spanish city on Monday, the date of the centenary. The team's festivities will continue on Sunday with a "legends match" involving former Valencia players.
When the new symbol was introduced before the season started, the club said the logo would complement the team's traditional badge and would not be limited to the centennial season.
"The club reinforces its association with the bat, which is one of the most emblematic symbols of the city," Valencia said at the time. "It's an innovative design that looks into the future."
After DC Comics first complained of Valencia's use of a new bat design for a line of casual clothing in 2012, the club said "a bat has been incorporated into the club's official crest since 1922," and "the official crest and the bat have been trademark registered worldwide and their use has not been subject to any legal challenge."
The team's main badge has a different-shaped bat and the colors yellow and red, although this season it is predominantly black and gold because of the centennial celebrations.
The Batman character made its first appearance in a DC Comics publication in 1939, 20 years after Valencia was founded.
Valencia is a six-time champion in the Spanish league, with its last title in 2004. It will be trying to win its eighth Copa del Rey title in this year's final against Barcelona.
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