Disney files suit over Frozen trademark infringement

Disney claims promotional tools for Phase 4 Films’ Frozen Land rips off of its own film

Logo comparison via The Hollywood Reporter

If you haven’t seen Disney’s Frozen yet this holiday season, let me give you a spoiler-free synopsis: It’s the story of a fearless princess who sets out on an epic journey with some friends across a winter wonderland.

If you haven’t seen Phase 4 Films’ Frozen Land yet this holiday season, let me give you a spoiler-free synopsis, according to a Disney lawsuit: It’s a blatant attempt to capitalize off of Frozen’s success by violating Disney’s trademarks.

At least, that’s what the movie-making giant has claimed in court. Disney filed a lawsuit against Phase 4 Films on Dec. 23 in a California court, claiming that Phase 4 infringed upon Disney’s trademark associated with Frozen when marketing its own film.

According to the lawsuit, Phase 4 released The Legend of Sarila to little fanfare in the U.S. despite being, as the producers claim, Canada’s first 3D-animated film. In order to boost sales and capitalize off of Frozen’s success, Disney says, the studio “redesigned the artwork, packaging, logo, and other promotional materials for its newly (and intentionally misleadingly) retitled film to mimic those used by [Disney] for FROZEN and related merchandise.”

The Hollywood Reporter notes that the main issue here isn’t the name of the film — anyone can use the word “Frozen” — but rather Phase 4’s promotional materials for the film. The redesigned Frozen Land logo looks very similar to Disney’s own logo, which Disney believes is an attempt for Phase 4 to sell its own merchandise with the intent to deceive customers in violation of, among other statutes, the Lanham Act.

Disney is seeking an injunction and the destruction of all Frozen Land DVDs that contain logos and images that could confuse customers. Disney is also seeking damages and lost profits related to the sale of Frozen Land.

 

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Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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