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4 September 2014Trademarks

Deadmau5 trademark takes the Mickey, says Disney

Disney Enterprises has filed an opposition against dance musician Deadmau5’s attempt to trademark his mouse head logo, claiming it is too similar to Mickey Mouse’s ears.

Deadmau5 filed 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.

Disney has since asked for two extensions on the time in which to oppose, each of which were granted.

In its opposition filed on Tuesday (September 2), Disney said that it is being and will be damaged by the Deadmau5 application.

Disney has 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, it said, also listing 25 trademark registrations that feature the mouse ears.

It claimed there is likelihood of confusion: “Applicant’s mouse ears mark is nearly identical in appearance, connotation, and overall impression to Disney's mouse ears marks.”

Deadmau5’s application so closely resembles the Mickey Mouse ears that it is likely to dilute the distinctive quality of the mark, Disney added.

The Canadian DJ Deadmau5, whose real name is Joel Zimmerman, confirmed the opposition to his online followers on Tuesday, tweeting: “Landed home to some interesting news: looks like Disney officially just filed in opposition of my trademark...  lawyer up mickey.”

He added: “Disney thinks you might confuse an established electronic musician / performer with a cartoon mouse. That’s how stupid they think you are.”

According to New York law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti PC’s blog, Deadmau5 had tried to register the same logo for similar goods and services in 2009, which Disney did not formally oppose despite requesting an extension of time to object.

Deadmau5 eventually abandoned the application in 2011.

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