Algorithmic Justice League trademark attempt blocked by DC Comics

The Algorithmic Justice League is being opposed in its efforts to trademark its brand, which promotes the responsible use and reduction of bias in biometric facial recognition and other technologies, in the U.S. by DC Comics, which creates the superhero entertainment franchise Justice League, Wired reports.

AI researcher Joy Buolamwini of the MIT Media Lab founded the Algorithmic Justice League to publicize the accuracy discrepancies and bias found in algorithms for facial recognition and other technologies, and efforts to address them. Buolamwini filed for the trademark in late 2017, even before the New York Times article on her research into racial bias in leading facial recognition algorithms made her a household name in the artificial intelligence industry.

The movie Justice League was released in 2017.

The entertainment company cites 10 trademarks related to Justice League, the group that includes Wonder Woman, Superman, and other comic book heroes who have crossed over to the movie screen in recent years. Intellectual property lawyer Alan Fisch of Fisch Sigler says famous properties enjoy broader protection, and Wired notes that Buolamwini appears to have intended to leverage the association with superhero characters, which could work against her.

The Algorithmic Justice League launched the Safe Face Pledge in late 2018, with Yoti and Simprints among initial signatories.

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