15 October 2014Trademarks

Deadmau5 hits back in Disney row

Musician Deadmau5 has hit back at Disney’s attempt to deny him a trademark for his mouse head logo, claiming the multinational previously wanted to use the design to collaborate with him.

In a 1,000-page filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the Canadian criticises Disney’s effort and said the entertainment company had wanted to "collaborate on a number of projects".

Last month, WIPR reported that Disney filed an opposition to the artist’s trademark application for his mouse head logo, known as the ‘mau5head’, because it was deemed too similar to its own Mickey Mouse ears trademark.

But according to Deadmau5's response, filed on Monday (October 13), Disney went through a concert promotion company to approach him last year about a project "re-imagining" the film Fantasia for its 75th anniversary.

The musician included an exhibit depicting Deadmau5 wearing the ‘mau5head’ while playing the part of the sorcerer's apprentice, a character in the Disney-produced film, instead of Mickey Mouse.

Deadmau5 filed an application to trademark his caricature mouse head with prominent ears in June 2013, for a range of goods and services including music equipment, clothing and toys.

In its opposition, filed on September 2 this year, Disney said that it “is being and will be damaged” by the application.

It added that it had used the Mickey Mouse trademark since at least 1928, and for nearly 60 years has used the mouse ears in connection with its entertainment services.

But Deadmau5, whose real name is Joel Zimmerman, claims evidence of the two being willing to collaborate should work in his favour.

Last night the musician tweeted to his three million followers: “Let it be known, I LOVE love love Disney’s creative teams and their work. It’s their legal department that needs to smarten the f**k up.”

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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