dean bertoncelj /
5 January 2015Trademarks

Belgian music festival forces Disney film to change name

A Disney film due to come out later this year will be released under a new name in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg after it was found to be too similar to a trademark registered by the organisers of the music festival Tomorrowland.

The film of the same name, which stars George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, is due to be released across cinemas in the US and Europe in May. The film’s new name in those three countries has not yet been confirmed.

Organisers of the music festival registered the ‘Tomorrowland’ trademark with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, which covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, in 2005.

The annual festival regularly attracts around 180,000 visitors for a weekend of musical performances in south-west Belgium. Last July, in celebration of its tenth anniversary, an additional weekend was organised that attracted another 180,000 visitors.

After the festival is finished a film documenting the highlights is uploaded to video sharing website YouTube.

Debby Wilmsen, a spokesperson for the festival, said: “Tomorrowland has become a world festival. We noted at the launch of the trailer of the Disney film that some people were confused.

“Some people thought that there was a film about the festival. It is good that people now know clearly that the Disney film is not about the festival,” she added.

It is not the first time the parties have clashed over the name Tomorrowland. In 2013, the organisers of Tomorrowland planned their first festival in the US but were forced to change its name to Tomorrow World after discovering Disney had registered the ‘Tomorrowland’ trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 1970.

Disney has not responded immediately to a request for comment.

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