Disney sues Deadmau5 over mouse head trademark

After threatening for months, Disney finally sued Deadmau5 over trademark infringement. Apparently the mau5-head is too close for comfort to their own mouse head logo, which depicts Mikey head as three adjacent circles.

Disney, a notoriously litigious overlord of trademarks and copyrights, initiated an investigation of Deadmau5’s trademarked logo with the Patent and Trademark office. According to EDM Chicago the USPTO gave Disney three months to craft a legal argument, during which time they assembled the argument that people might confuse Deadmau5 with Mickey Mouse.

Not likely. The mau5-head is clearly a nod to Mickey, but there’s something sinister about it—an alternate-reality Mickey on bad acid. It’s impossible that anyone who exposed to Deadmau5 would think he was actually watching Mickey Mouse. Any Disney execs who think so have obviously never been to a Deadmau5 show.

But it’s the same logic Facebook has used to sue anyone out of using any variation of “____ book” as a website name. By arguing that consumers might confuse parody sites or other legitimate businesses with Facebook, they’ve essentially blocked everyone else from using anything-book on the internet

By the old trademark laws Disney’s Mickey trademark would have expired already—but thanks to tireless lobbying from Disney the limit has been pushed from 50 years after the author’s death to 70 years. So Deadmau5 will probably need to fight this one rather than wait it out.

But hey—no matter how it turns out, he’s still got his Nyan cat Ferrari. He listed it for sale on Craigslist, but never got any takers.