DISMALAND vs Disney, parody or trademark infringement

Some artists use trademarks to highlight societal problems. For the owner of the trademark in question this is often unpleasant. The trademarks is linked to nasty experiences. In case of a conflict the artist usually invokes his freedom of speech and in many cases this is enough to persuade the judge. Because of media attention many companies even choose not to act anymore at all and simply wait until the storm is over.

In August DISMALAND was opened in England. A satirical amusement park (or object of art) designed by British graffiti artist Bansky. The project has 50 participants from 17 countries, including Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty and Damien Hirst. The temporary project (open for only 30 days) could be visited by a maximum of 4,000 people per day and was sold out immediately. Many works refer to Disney movies, such as the misshapen Princess Ariel and the guides that wear Mickey Mouse ears. Despite all this Disney had not given any comment yet or taken any action. Disney is generally known as a company that defends its intellectual property rights (actions were taken against Deadmau5 for example). Perhaps Disney decided not to take any action if this would mean it would only draw more attention.

parody



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IP quiz Trademarks

Puma is one of the bigger sports and lifestyle brands in the world. The core-business is the design, development and sale of (sports) shoes, (sports) clothing and accessories. In 1960, Puma registered an international trademark for a device designed in 1958: the formstrip. Since then, Puma has registered approximately 90 formstrip trademarks with validity in the Benelux or the European Union. Puma claims that this is a serial mark. Monshoe is a wholesaler of women's shoes and related products. The company designs and develops Monshoe shoes which it largely markets itself. Monshoe sells its women's shoes under the brands Shoecolate and Pearlz. The shoe Shoecolate is offered in various colour combinations. Puma claims that Monshoe infringes its well-known formstrip trademark. Monshoe contradicts this and states that the average consumer will not perceive the device of Monshoe on the sneakers as a trademark. And if the public will recognize a trademark in the decoration, it will not make the connection to Puma. According to Monshoe, the formstrip logo is not a well-known trademark within the meaning of the BVIE and the UMVo. There is no likelihood of confusion because the sign does not or hardly evoke any association with Puma among the public. In light of the above, who is right? Does this constitute decorative use or linking to a well-known trademark?