from the rounded-ears-are-like-rounded-corners:-actionable dept
Disney is the country's foremost copyright enthusiast, going so far as to have a law unofficially named for its most famous character, one whose very existence ensures the march towards copyright protection in perpetuity. But Disney is no slouch in the trademark department, especially if anything happens to slightly resemble its prized mouse.
Enter Deadmau5, DJ, producer and wearer of some of the most magnificent head accoutrements this side of pimps and/or Lady Gaga. Deadmau5, aka Joel Zimmerman, has finally caught the attention of Disney's IP lawyers with his latest trademark registration, a head-on view of his logo.
This logo, which Deadmau5 has used for years (trademark registrations for another view of the logo/headgear dates back to 2009), has been greeted with this.
On Friday, Disney let it be known at the U.S. Trademark Office that it is investigating a trademark registration filed by Deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse").Compare the above with Disney's infamous, undead mouse.
Sure, there's some comparison but it would take serious myopia to confuse the two. For one, Disney's exploitation of this iconic image has imprinted it on the minds (and wallets) of millions of people worldwide. Plus, every piece of merchandise marketed by the Disney Corporation also contains its equally ubiquitous Disney scrawl, letting the purchaser know that they're paying too much for this otherwise unremarkable product.
But to hold a trademark means defending it, even when "defending" more often resembles "attacking" and when a moron in a hurry not only wouldn't be confused, but would bypass both products in his haste to spread ignorance at the nearest water cooler/house party/comment thread. It's totally within Disney's rights to contest this, and to protect its most cherished piece of IP, there's no way it won't. As far as Disney is concerned, there's only one mouse logo in the world and it already owns it.
[Besides, I've seen worse go unpunished. Of course, it helps that the album using this artwork was never released…]