Back in April of 2010, we posted about efforts in the UK undertaken by the producers of Coronation Street to protect their interest in a fictional brand of beer featured on the show (Trade-mark Protection for a Fictional Beer). With a hat tip to the indispensable Lon Sobel at Entertainment Law Reporter, Benjamin Arrow has written a great article on protecting fictional trade-marks: “Real-Life Protection for Fictional Trademarks” (21 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 111).
Assessing the question from the point of view of US law, Arrow looks at trade-mark and copyright issues relating to the protection of fictional brands, with nods to the case where DC Comics sought (and obtained) an injunction against someone publishing a newspaper called The Daily Planet, and the seminal Australian case on the topic, wherein the producers of The Simpsons, sought to prevent use of the word “Duff” in connection with the sale of beer (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Matt Groening Productions Inc v the South Australian Brewing Co Ltd and Lion Nathan Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 1484).