LE­GAL KRYPTONITE

DC Comics threat­ens to sue Van­cou­ver Real­tor and self-anointed su­per­hero

StarMetro Vancouver - - METRO NEWS - Wanyee Li

A lo­cal real es­tate agent may be fac­ing le­gal kryptonite af­ter DC Comics threat­ened to sue him over his brand, “Real Es­tate Su­per­hero.”

Real­tor Ian Brett, who also mar­kets him­self as “Cap­tain Van­cou­ver,” af­ter the city’s name­sake, Bri­tish naval ex­plorer Capt. Ge­orge Van­cou­ver, re­ceived a stern warn­ing from DC Comics’ lawyers on Jan. 9, 2017.

Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter pub­lished on Brett’s web­site, DC Comics wants him to with­draw his trade­mark ap­pli­ca­tion for “Real Es­tate Su­per­hero” and to stop us­ing a red and yel­low shield sym­bol, rem­i­nis­cent of Su­per­man’s “S.”

“While our client does not ob­ject to use of CAP­TAIN VAN­COU­VER to pro­mote your real es­tate busi­ness, use of SU­PER­MAN in­di­cia and the SU­PER HERO trade­marks is not per­mis­si­ble,” stated a let­ter from Bere­skin & Parr, the Cana­dian in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty law firm rep­re­sent­ing DC Comics.

Brett’s web­site de­picts the Real­tor in a blue 18th cen­tury Bri­tish naval-of­fi­cer out­fit with a shirt un­der­neath that fea­tures a six-point shield — but with a “Re” for Real­tor in it in­stead of Su­per­man’s “S.”

But Brett, who has worked as a full-time Real­tor for four years, called DC Comics’ re­quest un­fair, char­ac­ter­iz­ing the fight as a David and Go­liath sit­u­a­tion.

“I don’t think I should be a threat. When you see me, I don’t look like Su­per­man. I don’t have mus­cles upon mus­cles. I’ve got glasses that I can’t take off be­cause I can’t see,” he said.

He chose to call him­self a “su­per­hero” be­cause he be­lieves peo­ple want to see a change in

I don’t think I should be a threat. When you see me, I don’t look like su­per­man. ian brett

how real es­tate is con­ducted.

“We de­cided, hey let’s try to tackle this prob­lem we have in Van­cou­ver with shadow flip­ping and all this dis­hon­esty you hear about in the news,” he said.

“It has worked re­mark­ably. I’ve had so much in­ter­est. I think peo­ple were look­ing for a change. That’s when the su­per­hero per­sona came on.”

Brett told Metro he is open to ne­go­ti­at­ing with DC Comics, par­tic­u­larly on the shield ref­er­ence. But in the mean­time, he is tak­ing a tongue-in-cheek ap­proach to ne­go­ti­at­ing with them, writ­ing back to Bere­skin & Parr as if the firm was Su­per­man.

He signed off on the let­ter with this line:

“Alas Su­per­man, fear not, you will al­ways be the ‘Man of Steel’ just as I will al­ways be the ‘Man of Sales.’”

Bere­skin & Parr did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment by dead­line.

WANYEE LI METRO

Real­tor Ian Brett, who also mar­kets him­self as “Cap­tain Van­cou­ver,” re­ceived a stern warn­ing from DC Comics’ lawyers af­ter he tried to reg­is­ter the name “Real Es­tate Su­per­hero.”

WanyEE Li/MEtRo

Real­tor Ian Brett, who also mar­kets him­self as ‘Cap­tain Van­cou­ver,’ re­ceived a stern warn­ing from DC Comics’ lawyers af­ter he tried to reg­is­ter the name “Real Es­tate Su­per­hero.”

Cap­tain Van­Cou­VER/Con­tRib­utED

Ian Brett mar­kets him­self as a “Real Es­tate Su­per­hero” and wears a shirt that fea­tures a shield, rem­i­nis­cent of Su­per­man’s cos­tume.

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