Deadmau5 Settles Lengthy Dispute with Disney over Mouse Head Design

Canadian DJ Joel Zimmerman, better known by his stage name – Deadmau5 – has come to an agreement with Disney regarding the mouse head design he wears when on stage.

The DJ attempted to register the logo, which includes a black face and ears along with white eyes and mouth, with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2013.

He has already successfully registered the trademark in over 30 countries; however, Disney raised strong legal objections to the trademark application in America.

The famous film studio, which is responsible for a number of productions starring Mickey Mouse, argued that Deadmau5’s trademark was “nearly identical in appearance, connotation and overall commercial impression to Disney’s Mouse Ears”.

They said that the potential trademark would confuse consumers regarding the identity of Mickey Mouse, which has been a character strongly associated with the Disney brand since 1928.

Previously, Dina LaPolt – the lawyer representing Mr Zimmerman – said: “Our client will not be bullied by Disney and is prepared to fight to protect his rights to his property.

“[We] wonder why Disney is only now coming after Deadmau5, given the symbol had been registered in 30 countries and had been used for a decade.”

Before the dispute, Deadmau5 and Disney collaborated together on a number of projects.

Trademark papers filed by the DJ last year show that Disney had even approached him with the concept of re-working Fantasia for a series of live concerts.

However, recent reports have indicated that Disney and Deadmau5 have finally managed to resolve their dispute amicably, though no details have been released regarding the specifics of the agreement.

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Maung is a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department. He joined Mackrell Turner Garrett following corporate law positions in London and in a leading regional firm in Essex.