This is a great article by Fred von Lohmann about the surreal case of Marvel suing the makers of the popular “City of Heroes” MMORPG game. Marvel complains that City of Heroes is guilty of contributory infringement of copyright and trademark because some players in their site are creating characters that resemble Marvel heroes, such as Wolverine™, Hulk™ and Spider-man™. The argument is so ridiculous that it should not require any analysis. What is the damage to the brands if there are some gamers who also like Marvel comic characters and want to generate an avatar that resembles their hero? This is one of those cases in which abuse of IP serves only to provide bad PR for the company involved.
Marvel should not mess with comic-book geeks.