Hulk Hogan reveals how he owns the trademark to his name, following a huge legal battle between Marvel Comics and the WWE.
The wrestling legend has been known as Hulk Hogan for nearly 50 years, becoming one of the most recognizable names in all of pro-wrestling.
He carried the WWE in the 1980s, main eventing 8 WrestleMania events and winning countless world championships (in WWE, WCW and NJPW).
However, Hogan did not own his own wrestling name until a legal battle in 2005 went in his favor.
Hulk Hogan had become synonymous with his name, with it being his brand ad the way he made money.
Sadly, Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk” is what inspired him, and caused him legal trouble early in his career.
Hogan was forced to pay a share of his earnings to Marvel for the use of the name, something which lasted for nearly three decades.
Speaking with Theo Von on the This Past Weekend Podcast, Hulk Hogan revealed all about his legal troubles with Marvel Comics, and how he won his name back after a legal battle.
“Vince (McMahon Sr) dies, and his son Vince (McMahon Jr) takes over.” Hulk Hogan said,
“Right when this Hulk Hogan thing takes off, we get a call from Marvel Comics claiming we’re infringing on a character similar to ‘The Incredible Hulk’ – in their magazine, before the TV series.”
“We were accused of infringing on their mark, and they threatened to sue us. So, we decided to let them have the name without licensing it.”
“However, we only had to pay them one-tenth of one percent, meaning if we made a dollar, we only had to pay them one-tenth of a penny. This arrangement lasted from 1985 to 2005 – 20 years.”
Fast-forward to 2005, it’s over, and I can’t use Hulk Hogan anymore. At that time, I was still very successful, but I needed the name. I told my attorneys to make a deal, no matter what, to secure the name.”
“We managed to get a one-year extension, but I had to pay 30% of everything I made – movies, TV, wrestling – to Marvel Comics. However, they had to give me the first shot at buying the name if they decided to sell it, at a fair market value.”
This seemed like wishful thinking for Hogan, but soon after it all came good for hi,
Marvel Comics lost a 35 million-dollar lawsuit with the WWE, over the airing of classic Hulk Hogan matches.
Rather than paying the settlement, they offered the trademark for the name “Hulk Hogan” to the WWE – this activated the clause in their deal, and allowed Hogan to buy the name outright, with Marvel on the hook for $35 million.
“So all of a sudden Marvel Comics gets in a fest with the WWE about intellectual properties that they can’t re-air old Hulk Hogan matches which means was re-airing on this stuff.”
“They lost, Marvel Comics lost, and the events cost them around 35 million dollars. They made a huge mistake of including that in the deal. They said, ‘No, instead of paying you 35 million dollars, how about if we give you the Hulk Hogan name.'”
“I heard about it, and I went, ‘You guys screwed up now because now I don’t have to pay 35 million dollars for the name. You have to sell it to me at a fair market value, which is only like 750 Grand, wow yeah.’ So, I bought the name back, and Vince wanted to buy the name for me, nah I think I got this, let me get this.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please give a H/T to Atletifo for the transcription.
Hulk Hogan continues to go by his wrestling name to this day, aged 69. He now owns all versions of the trademark, including Hulk Hogan, Hollywood Hogan and Hulkamania, to name but a few.
However, as we must state on every story told by Hulk Hogan – take it with a grain of salt.
He is a notorious liar, as we proved in this collection of Hulk Hogan’s biggest and most outrageous lies.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.