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Vampires vs. Zombies

Posted in Trademarks

–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney

What is it with zombies these days? If recent memory serves correct, it wasn’t so long ago that a pop-culture junkie like me couldn’t mention the words “creature of the night” without some girl/tween/soccer mom swooning over the likes of one Edward Cullen, the romantic hero of Stephanie Meyer’s wildly popular  Twilight series. You know who you are.

Then there was True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, and a slew of other vampire-related books, movies, parodies, and the like, including what may be one of the best fan-made mash-ups ever.

And then came the zombies. I received a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies about a year ago as a gift – and suddenly it seems that zombies, like vampires, are everywhere too.

A recent review of the new television series “The Walking Dead” in the New York Times explains that “[z]ombie movies didn’t die off, but they were overshadowed by vampire mania that has dominated popular culture… Finally, perhaps as a backlash against all the girlish, gothic swooning over ‘Twilight,’ zombies are making a comeback.”

If recent filing activity at the Trademark Office is any indication, then what’s left of 2010 (and 2011) may be The Year of the Zombie. The stats are as follows:

Since September 6, 2006, the date upon which Twilight was first published, the following trademark applications have been filed with the Trademark Office:

  • 132 marks incorporating the term “zombie”
  • 118 marks incorporating the term “vampire”
  • 116 marks incorporating the term “demon”
  • 83 marks incorporating the term “troll”
  • 13 marks incorporating the term “ghoul”
  • 9 marks incorporating the term “corpse”

Of the first two categories, and since April 4, 2009, the date upon which “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” was published, 84 applications for marks incorporating the term “vampire” have been filed and 69 applications for marks incorporating the term “zombie” have been filed.

Tellingly, the most recent applications incorporating the term “vampire” are for the mark VAMPIRES SUCK, for a variety of goods and services.