What Kind Of Mickey Mouse (And Donald Duck) Lawsuits Are These?
from the what's-going-on-now? dept
Donald Duck is apparently pretty busy on the trademark law front. On the same day, I heard about two separate legal incidents involving Donald Duck, which is just the sort of coincidence that can’t be ignored. The first story, admittedly, is more bizarre than the second. It involves Mickey Mouse suing Donald Duck. Literally. It’s got to be some sort of prank, but the lawsuit has actually been filed. The complaint is rather basic, with Mickey Mouse’s lawyer Juan Abogado (“Abagado” apparently is the word for “lawyer” in Spanish.) stating simply:
COMES NOW Plaintiff, by and through undersigned counsel, and states:
1. This is an action arising under the Trademark Protection Act, 15 USC 78.
2. The Plaintiff is the owner of the trademark no. 0134148349208, (Walt Disney World patent).
3. The Defendant is a duck.
Donald Duck, represented by his lawyer, Pluto the Dog, Esq., quickly shot back:
A quick search fails to turn up the trademark in question, though, I’ll admit to not putting much effort into it.
The other case involving the same Donald Duck is a bit more bizarre. Reader Kevin Brody lets us know that the University Oregon has a stylized version of Donald Duck as its mascot, on license from Disney. Some students and fans of the University football team put together a song about how much they love the team. Great, right? Well, except that in the video they made, the Donald Duck-alike mascot makes a few appearances, and the school’s marketing director flipped out and ordered them to edit out the duck, supposedly because Disney either was, or could get, upset about the usage. As the author of the column notes, this is ridiculous. It’s just a few guys having fun and does no damage to the trademark at all. It’s unclear if Disney actually got involved here, and my guess is that this is more the university stepping up before Disney said anything to protect itself. Given Disney’s aggressive enforcement of its copyrights and trademarks in the past, perhaps this isn’t a huge surprise.
Still, with Donald Duck being summoned by court clerk “Goofy” to the Florida courtroom where Mickey is suing, you have to wonder if he’ll be able to make it back in time for the the Oregon Ducks game…