English Company Loses to Magic Kingdom

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English Company THOIP asserted its rights to a family of unregistered trademarks in a children’s book series involving cartoon characters called ?Mr. Men? and ?Little Miss? by suing the king of the cartoon characters—Walt Disney Company (and related companies). The products at the center of the dispute are t-shirts. You may have seen Britney Spears sporting Little Miss THOIP’s t-shirts in the celebrity magazines or on the celebrity websites, or perhaps, read about the filing in 2009 from DuetsBlogger Sharon Armstrong.

In August 2010, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the New York Court) granted the Walt Disney Company’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of ?forward confusion.? The remaining dispute involved whether ?reverse confusion? had occurred. One of THOIP’s likely concerns is that consumers will think that THOIP is copying Disney’s brand and may not look favorably on THOIP.

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