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Disney is no Dumbo in push for mark invalidation

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 03 November 2017

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As one of the most recognisable brands around the world. Disney have a proactive approach to protecting their intellectual property.

This time is no exception as they attempt to invalid a possible conflicting mark to one of their famous characters.

Originally released in 1941, Dumbo was one of Disney’s first characters to see their own animated film. To this day, the elephant has become one of the most recognisable and well-loved characters.

Therefore, Disney were not going to act favourably when they discovered a potential attempt to monopolise this fame.

California based company, 12th Bean, applied for trade mark ‘Dumbo Lounge Sacks’ in relation to inflatable furniture last year.

The application included a picture of the product which featured the face and trunk of an elephant, with the trunk acting as the ‘m’ in ‘Dumbo’.

This was too close to the line for Disney who filed an opposition against the application citing that the trade mark was ‘highly similar in sound, appearance and connotation, to Disney’s Dumbo trade marks.

Disney also declared to goods to be similar as Disney had also offered furniture items featuring a wide range of their trade marks, including Dumbo.

As 12th Bean did not respond to Disney’s opposition, The US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has entered a notice of default against the mark which brings Disney at step closer to deeming the mark as invalid. 

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