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Marvel Comics looking into whether a Minnesota hard cider violates Thor trademark

The Minnesota company says their product has nothing to do with comics.

Somewhat ironically, Marvel Comics may find itself playing the villain in a legal dispute with a Minnesota apple farm.

So what could such a place – namely Aamodt’s Apple Farm in Stillwater – possibly have done to find itself at odds with the uber-popular comic and movie company?

It turns out Marvel Entertainment is looking into possibly disputing the company's trademark on Thor's Hard Cider, for pretty obvious reasons (the drink happens to share the name of the classic superhero Thor, who has a movie out right now).

Chris Aamodt – a great-grandson of the founder – tells GoMN that Marvel has filed an extension that will give it until early January to see if there's a case worth pursuing, but it's not clear when Marvel first challenged it. 

As City Pages notes, such "notices of opposition" are filed when a company believes a product might "confuse" customers, especially in cases where it might bear similarities to said company's property.

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However, a University of Minnesota law professor tells the paper he doesn't see a "compelling argument" for Marvel, since the company "cannot claim a monopoly on the name ‘Thor.’"

Indeed, the name comes from Norse mythology. 

But the Stillwater farm – which has been family-run since 1948 – may not have much to worry about. Aamodt tells GoMN they haven't even heard from Marvel yet.

"We found it out from the press as well," he said Wednesday, adding that the company's attorneys haven't even heard anything.

He points out that Thor's Hard Cider – which Aamodt's debuted back in July – is named after his great-grandfather and company founder Thor Aamodt, so the beverage "has nothing to do" with any comic character.

"It's our heritage," Aamodt added, saying the company will carry on as normal until they hear of anything else.

Marvel seems to have filed the legal paperwork earlier this month. GoMN has reached out to the corporation and its lawyers for comment. 

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