Is it legal to use or reference a part of a story / series like saying, "Studs are super-saiyan dykes"?

Would the studio that owns DBZ have a way to sue for using "super-saiyan" by claiming it was defamation, diluting their brand, etc., since it is a special term which many anime fans would recognized from the franchise?


Generally speaking such usages are not actionable unless the phrase is a trademark and it is obvious that you exploiting that trademark in a way that either damages the trademark holder or creates confusion over who owns the trademark. If it is an isolated reference, then it is fair use of the trademark.

For example, imagine you wrote a story that included the sentence. "Bob loved to read Spider-Man comic books and dressed up as Spider-Man all the time." Even though "Spider-Man" is a trademark of the Marvel company, they have no legal basis for preventing you from referring to the trademark in that way in a novel. If, however, you wrote a novel about Spider-Man, that would be a problem, because that could be seen as infringing on Marvel's brand.

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