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.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?