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Batman's logo - in its many iterations over the years - is one of the most iconic symbols of all of pop culture and recognizable to just about everyone. That being said, a new challenge issued by DC Comics has sparked an interesting question: at what point does a silhouette of a bat become the Batman logo?
This question will be at the heart of the conflict between DC Comics and the Spanish La Liga football club Valencia - which was uncovered by the Spanish-language website Plaza Deportiva. The sports team has been looking to trademark a new version of their crest, seen in the banner image above (via Yahoo!), but the comic book giant is trying to block this from happening by saying that the bat looks too similar to the one that the Dark Knight displays proudly across his chest. It's worth noting that a bat has been a part of the Valencia team crest since 1919 - a good two decades before Bob Kane created Batman - and in connection with Spanish heraldry there are uses that date back to the 13th century.
What slightly muddles this case is the fact that DC Comics hasn't exactly been using the same Batman logo since the character was created 75 years ago. Sure, the symbol from Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy pictured above looks similar to Valencia's new design, but there are also plenty of Batman logos that look absolutely nothing like that:
If DC Comics is going to seriously move forward with this challenge, their best piece of evidence may not be the Dark Knight trilogy logo, but instead the one used in the animated series and comics following Batman Beyond. Of all the logos DC Comics has produced since Batman's creation, it's this one that most resembles what Valencia is looking to trademark:
There are definitely arguments that can be made for both sides here, and it will be interesting to see how the European Union's trademark authority ultimately rules. In your own judgement, do you think that Valencia should be able to make their new logo official, or do you think DC Comics has case?