We usually focus on trademark lawsuits that make no sense at all... but effective trademark law exists to prevent confusion among consumers (i.e., it's really more of a consumer protection law, rather than an "intellectual property" law) and thus there are plenty of reasonable trademark infringement lawsuits out there. This appears to be one of them. Lamp maker Luxo is apparently suing Disney for selling real versions of Pixar's iconic computer animated lamp
. Pixar, of course, has long used the lamp as a part of its logo:
At first, I thought perhaps Luxo was suing Disney because of the similarities to Luxo's lamps. But the issue is that Disney is now selling a real version of the Pixar lamp... and bizarrely decided to market it as "The Luxo Jr." Yes, everyone admits that John Lasseter designed the lamp to look like the Luxo lamp, but why call it that when selling it? It's amazing that of all the trademark lawyers at Disney, none of them suspected there might be a complaint from the real Luxo, if Disney were to sell a lamp using the Luxo name. This is a situation where not only a moron in a hurry, but your everyday lamp buyer, might reasonably assume that the Disney Luxo Jr. lamp is actually made by Luxo.
So, two questions: who at Disney allowed this to go forward? And why didn't Disney and Luxo just do the most obvious thing and have Luxo make the lamps for Disney?