Disney Defends Effort to Halt Deadmau5’s Mouse Ears Trademark

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After recording artist Deadmau5 unleashed a Twitter broadside against The Walt Disney Co. for challenging his effort to trademark his mouse ears logo, the company responded on Friday by saying that the emblem is “nearly identical” to their own stylized Mickey Mouse image.

Deadmau5, a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman, has featured the mouse ears as a part of his act, whether as a symbol or as a costume. Earlier this week, Deadmau5 bashed the company when Disney attorneys filed an objection to his effort to trademark a mouse ears logo with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a move that would give it protection across a host of different products.

A spokesman for the company said that “Disney vigorously protects its trademark rights, and we oppose Mr. Zimmerman’s attempt to register a logo that is nearly identical to our trademarks for his commercial exploitation. Our opposition is not about the use of the Deadmau5 costume.”

On Thursday, the artist tweeted a cease and desist letter from his attorneys, claiming that the company was infringing on his copyrights with the use of his work “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” in a music video “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff — Re Micks.” The letter also claims that Disney is infringing on his deadmau5 trademark by featuring it next to the video, “implying a non-existent endorsement,” wrote his attorney, Dina LaPolt.

But the Disney spokesman said that the “music was appropriately licensed, and there is no merit to his statement.” In the cease-and-desist letter, LaPolt wrote that they were unaware of any license.