The toy factory violated the trademark rights of well-known brands such as Disney and was fined about 75,000 yuan

The toy factory violated the trademark rights of well-known brands such as Disney and was fined about 75,000 yuan

Based on the complaint clues, the Chenghai District Market Supervision Administration launched an investigation into a toy factory in Chenghai District suspected of producing counterfeit toy products with the registered trademarks of “MICKEY MOUSE” and “DISNEY FROZEN” of the American Disney Enterprises and the “” registered trademarks of the American MGA Entertainment Company.

It was found that from April to July 2022, the party involved used the same “MICKEY MOUSE” and other logos as the registered trademark on the toy products it produced without obtaining the permission of the trademark registrant for product decoration. , misleading the public and causing damage to the legitimate rights and interests of the trademark owner. The party’s behavior violated Article 57 of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China and Article 76 of the Implementation Regulations of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China. According to Article 60 of the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Trademark Law of the People’s Republic of China According to Article 28 of the Administrative Punishment Law of the People’s Republic of China, the parties are ordered to immediately stop trademark infringement, confiscate the toy products and packaging boxes that infringe the exclusive rights of registered trademarks, and impose an administrative penalty of 75,447.2 yuan in fines and confiscation.

Mickey Mouse’s copyright has expired, can toy manufacturers use it for free?

According to foreign media reports, the original copyright of Mickey Mouse, the representative image of Disney, will expire on January 1, 2024, and will enter the public domain and will no longer be protected by copyright. In theory, anyone has the right to produce merchandise or creations using the image without having to pay royalties to Disney – but only for the original Mickey Mouse design in “Steamboat Willie” and various subsequent Disney versions. The Mickey Mouse image is still under copyright protection.

A toy factory infringed on the trademark rights of Disney and other well-known brands and was fined and confiscated about 75,000 yuan...

The original Mickey Mouse (left) and the modern version of Mickey Mouse (right)

For a long time, Mickey Mouse has become the “mascot” of the “IP Empire” Disney Company, which can bring billions of dollars in revenue to the company every year.

A toy factory infringed on the trademark rights of Disney and other well-known brands and was fined and confiscated about 75,000 yuan...

Disney’s IP family portrait

Disney currently has hundreds of licensees in the Chinese market, and the revenue from copyright licensing is a very important source of income for Disney.

According to previous reports from China and Foreign Toys Network, in addition to “Mickey Mouse”, the copyrights of Disney’s other famous IPs such as Goofy, Donald Duck, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, etc. will gradually expire and enter the public domain. But this does not mean that toy manufacturers can modify and use them at will.

Disney said in a statement that it will work to prevent consumer confusion over unauthorized versions of Mickey Mouse and other iconic cartoon characters. This may mean that Disney is ready to cooperate with trademark laws and continue to crack down on piracy.

After all, in addition to copyright protection, there is also trademark protection to protect artistic images. Disney has applied for trademarks for its artistic images in various jurisdictions. The trademark system has operable permanence in terms of protection period. In theory, as long as it is renewed on time, the exclusive right to trademark can continue to exist.

Disney has applied for various trademarks for the image of Mickey Mouse, and any appearance that looks like Mickey can be included in the trademark.

A toy factory infringed on the trademark rights of Disney and other well-known brands and was fined and confiscated about 75,000 yuan...

Disney’s various trademarks are actually a collection of abstract versions of Mickey Mouse. In 1928, Mickey Mouse’s works entered the public domain as part of the Mickey Mouse series, which had little impact on the Disney Company.

According to previous reports by British media, after the first version of the Mickey Mouse image enters the public domain, anyone who wants to use this image can use it as they please without applying or paying copyright fees. In this way, artists can freely use materials to create more exciting stories, but at the same time, there may also be “magic modification” works that make the audience uncomfortable, causing concerns among the legal profession.

Foreign media pointed out that as the copyright of the first version of Mickey Mouse expires, more copyright disputes with Disney are expected to occur in the next few years.

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