Deadmau5 settles trademark dispute with Disney over mouse head logo


Deadmau5 has settled a long-running dispute with Disney over the design of the mouse head he wears on stage.

The DJ, Canadian Joel Zimmerman, tried to trademark the logo in America last September but Disney objected.

The firm said it was "nearly identical in appearance, connotation and overall commercial impression to Disney's Mouse Ears" and would confuse people.

But a lawyer has told The Hollywood Reporter that "Disney and Deadmau5 have amicably resolved their dispute".

There are no details yet about what that agreement was.

Deadmau5 originally tried to register his logo - featuring black ears, black face, white eyes and white mouth - in 2013 with the US Patent and Trademark Office and already holds the trademark in more than 30 countries.

Minnie and Mickey Mouse in Disneyworld Hong Kong
Image caption Mickey Mouse was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studios in 1928

At the time Zimmerman's lawyer Dina LaPolt said in a statement: "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."

Deadmau5, who's released seven studio albums, wanted to trademark his mouse head for use on merchandise like "electronic equipment, entertainment services, BMX bikes".

He also demanded that Disney stop using his track Ghosts 'n' Stuff in a remix featuring Mickey Mouse.

Joel Zimmerman
Image caption Joel Zimmerman appears on stage at Bonnaroo in Tennessee without his "mau5head"

In its claim, Disney emphasised the popularity of Mickey Mouse, whose image it has used in films, music and cartoons and on clothing since 1928.

"Mickey Mouse is recognised as among the greatest animated characters of all time," the company said.

Before the dispute Deadmau5 and Disney had worked together on a number of occasions.

In trademark papers filed by Deadmau5 last year, Zimmerman says he was approached to re-work Fantasia for a series of new live concert performances and was in talks to remix the animated Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels.

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