Holy semantics, Batman! This week has seen one of the oddest legal battles seen in a long time. DC Comics filed suit against pop star Rihanna in an attempt to prevent her from trademarking the term “Robyn,” on the grounds that it is too similar to the name of Batman’s faithful sidekick: Robin.


Rihanna in a Batman mask

Rihanna’s desire to name her online magazine “Robyn” is clashing with DC Comics’ desire to keep up the value of trusted superhero. (mtv.com)

“Robyn” is the proposed name for an online magazine created by the singer, inspired by her legal name. The comic book giant maintains that the similarity between the two terms could cause confusion for consumers and be detrimental to the value of Robin. DC must validate this claim by proving to the court that Robin’s value will actually diminish while Rihanna’s magazine flourishes.


Robin is considered a staple character of DC comics, first appearing in April 1940 as the loyal ward to Bruce Wayne/ Batman. Numerous characters have held the position over the years, ranging from Dick Grayson — who later went on to become Nightwing — and Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne. It’s difficult to imagine that comic book fans will be confused by the similar names, but the company released a statement regarding the matter earlier this week.

“Rihanna’s registration is likely to cause dilution by blurring and tarnishing the famous opposer’s mark.”

Rihanna’s lawyers have yet to comment on the matter or on what her course of action will be throughout this legal process.


DC has possessed the trademark for “Robin” for decades. With the increasing popularity of superhero properties in mainstream media, it would seem that they want to protect a viable cash cow. Rumors suggest that Robin could play into the storyline of the upcoming “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice,” meaning now more than ever, they want to hang onto him.


Do you think Rihanna’s potential magazine title will devalue one of DC’s favorite sidekicks?  Share your thoughts in a comment below or follow me on Twitter @connerws