The legal battle between Disney and Deadmau5 has officially begun. Apparently, the Walt Disney Company filed a 171-page ‘Notice of Opposition’ of trademark registration against Ronica Holdings, the corporate identity responsible Deadmau5’s logo. Back in March 2014, Disney set up a complaint, but it was not formalized. Ronica Holdings actually does hold a trademark for the Deadmau5 logo with the mouse head looking downward and to the side direction and the DJ filed to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in June 2013. The logo is also trademarked in 30 other countries including Japan, Germany, Australia, and Italy. But apparently the logo still sits a little too close to home for Disney.
It’s now up to the Disney Corporation to plead and prove that: (1) It is likely to be damaged by Deadmau5’s logo, and (2) there are valid legal grounds as to why the Deadmau5 is not entitled to register the logo. On the other hand, Deadmau5 has the burden of proving that Disney doesn’t have the right to contest the logo.
The news may not be looking so good for Deadmau5. Disney usually has a way of getting what it wants, as in the 1995 case where they stopped a golf instructional company called The Magic Swingdom from obtaining a trademark on the basis of likelihood of confusion. It’s been a tough week for Zimmerman who was also hit with a ‘cease and desist’ letter over Purarri, his Nyan cat-themed Ferrari 458 Italia. We’ll be sure to update more as this story develops!
It looks like the lawsuit is happening, as Zimmerman recently sent out a letter to Disney in defense of his copyright claim to his iconic mouse ears.
But, in a great twist of fate, it looks instead like Disney is now the one with infrigement concerns. Disney has a “spooky cartoon” 1:30 minute video clip of the Disney cast with the Deadmau5 track Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff. This is just too good.