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Judge: 'Dark Knight Rises' didn't infringe on trademark

May 18, 2013 at 10:31 AM

HOLLYWOOD, May 18 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Indiana ruled Warner Bros.' "The Dark Knight Rises" did not infringe on the trademark name of a computer security program.

In the film, Anne Hathaway's character is in search of software referred to as "clean slate" that will erase her criminal past from every computer database in the world.

A computer company, Fortres Grand, sued Warner Bros. for its use of the "clean slate" name, which the company said is the trademark name of its computer security program. Fortres' Clean Slate is used to erase the history on a person's computer.

Judge Philip Simon said there's a marked difference between the fictional world of Batman and that of the real world, and ruled against Fortres, The Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

"Warner Bros. 'clean slate' software only exists in the fictional world of Gotham; it does not exist in reality. This may seem to be a small point, but it has big ramifications for the consumer confusion analysis, which become apparent once you realize the argument that Fortres Grand has not made -- and cannot make," he said.

"Plaintiff is not in the motion picture business, and it would be absurd to think that customers buy tickets to 'The Dark Knight Rises' or purchase the DVD/Blu-ray because of a perceived association of the Film with Fortres Grand's products," Warner Bros. said of the case.

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