Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, has filed a suit against Warner Bros and DC Comics over Bumblebee trademark.
The lawsuit was filed on Monday. It claims that the DC Bumblebee, a teenage girl with the ability to shrink, could easily be confused with the autobot Bumblebee.
Hasbro has a lot riding on the Bumblebee character, set to star in the first Transformers spin-off, which is due in theatres at Christmas 2018.
The company is now seeking to block the sales of Mattel’s Bumblebee toy, which is part of the DC Super Hero Girls line of action figures. Hasbro is also concerned about a Bumblebee Lego set. Bumblebee is one of the central heroes of the Transformers universe.
Hasbro says that it began selling Bumblebee toys in 1983 and has been selling building-block toy sets with the Bumblebee brand since 2011.
DC Comics and Warner Bros announced the DC Super Hero Girls franchise in April 2015 as a partnership with Mattel. The TV series began airing in October 2015.
The series features younger versions of DC superheroes, including Batgirl and Harley Quinn, as they attend high school.
The Bumblebee character is a tech wizard with super strength and the ability to shrink. The original Bumblebee character was first introduced in the DC Teen Titans comic series in 1977.
Hasbro filed for a trademark on the Bumblebee name on July 15, 2015 and the trademark was registered on December 22, 2015. Warner Bros did not immediately respond to a request for comment.