Last year Disney filed a civil federal lawsuit against online retailer DisGear, and they won. The lawsuit claimed the online retailer was infringing on copyright and trademarks. DisGear was using Disney images, as well as, images from Star Wars and Frozen.
The court order was signed on March 24th by U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. It did not mention any dollar settlements but outlined several steps and terms that Mouseprint Media agreed to. They will shut down their business, and relinquish all merchandise and its website to Disney. They will never open back up and agreed to never sell anything with Disney again.
According to the court order, Disney “will continue to suffer irreparable harm and injury should this Court not issue a permanent injunction enjoining such actions by the Defendants.”
Disney is known for its fierce protection of its intellectual property. It’s no secret that the house of Mouse is in some type of battle with small shops, particularly those on Etsy.
Mouseprint Media, also known as DisGear, sold T-Shirts with images that included Cinderella Castle or Darth Vader images on them. The business formed in 2014, according to sunbiz.org, the state’s online corporate site.
Disney’s main argument was that the public would be confused and think that Disney and Mouseprint Media were connected. Disney also stated in the lawsuit that there were several attempts to contact the shop before it went to trial, and those attempts were unsuccessful.
Although cases like these happen all the time with Disney, it seems as though it’s an uphill battle they’re willing to fight. After all, these small businesses are making money off of their characters, movies, and other images.