Last year, we wrote about how the University of Oregon cracked down on a great student video supporting the school's football team, because the team's mascot was in the video
. Why should that matter? Well, it turns out that the team's mascot looks quite a bit like Donald Duck, whose trademark is (of course) owned by Disney. It turns out that Disney and the University of Oregon had a long-term handshake
agreement made with Walt Disney himself, that said the University could use the duck as its mascot, but had to get agreements from the company to use it in any setting outside of the agreement -- hence the university freaking out about the student video. But, in some surprisingly good news, Maurice Troute
alerts us to the news that Disney has now agreed that it has no trademark claim over the mascot
. Apparently, printed logos and t-shirts and such still are covered by the Disney agreement -- but the physical mascot has been set free:
In an agreement finalized this week, Disney acknowledges that the "current incarnation of a costumed character featured at the University of Oregon's athletic and promotional events (the 'Oregon Duck') is not substantially similar" to Disney's Donald Duck character.
Kudos to Disney for apparently being willing to not just respect a decades old handshake agreement on this, but to recognize when it should no longer try to stretch the trademark and let a clearly distinct usage go free. Given that Disney has a history of being really aggressive over such things, this is a nice surprise.