In April, we wrote about an ongoing game of mouse and mouse between Disney and EDM DJ Joel Zimmerman, aka Deadmau5. We predicted that Disney would oppose the DJ's attempt to receive federal trademark protection for his logo. You may remember it:
Yesterday, Disney made good on our prediction, filing a mammoth 171-page Notice of Opposition. If you are also a trademark nerd and have some free time on your hands, you can read the whole thing here: Disney - Notice of Opposition. For the "CliffsNotes" version, read on.
Disney argues that it "owns longstanding rights in its mouse ears mark." Disney traces its claim to at least 1928 when Mickey Mouse made his debut. The company provides a brief history of its use of mouse ears and cites to a number of registrations and images that support its claim.
Also as predicted, the basis for Disney's opposition is that Deadmau5's mark is likely to cause confusion. Disney incorporates the following comparison (which may look familiar if you read our prior post) in support of this allegation:
Deadmau5 took to Twitter in response to Disney's opposition. He was less than enchanted:
And expressed his disagreement with Disney's position:
Deadmau5's discontent (he also posted several NSFW tweets) is not surprising considering Disney's request that the DJ's registration be "refused on all grounds."
Let's make another prediction. This dispute will not end anytime soon. Indeed, on August 18, 2014, Deadmau5 applied for the following mark.
Chances are slim that Disney's legal team will remain frozen while the DJ's application for this mark is pending. These mice are likely to remain trapped in a legal maze for some time.
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