Monday, December 21, 2015

Disney Files Series of DONALD DUCK Trademarks

On December 16th, Disney Enterprises, Inc. filed four federal trademark applications for DONALD DUCK related to a variety of unusual items. The four trademark applications related to "tea," "curtains," "soap dishes; waste baskets; paper cups; paper plates," and "furniture."
Quite a random list. However, the intent-to-use basis of each application means that Disney does have a bona fide intention to use the phrase DONALD DUCK on each one of the items listed in the applications. This does not mean Disney is legally required to use the mark on those items, but it does require some sort of planning to use the term that is more than just an idea (i.e. a marketing plan for the items, orders placed for the required materials, prototypes developed, etc.).

These recent filings add to Disney's growing list of trademark applications or registrations in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which numbers almost 5,500 as of the date of this post. It also serves as an important reminder to anyone trying to sell their own Donald Duck (or any Disney) items - don't do so without a license from Disney. Disney owns a huge intellectual property portfolio and is aggressive about protecting its valuable intellectual property. Trying to profit off Disney's intellectual property will only lead to cease and desist letters from Disney's counsel.

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