Mickey Mouse and the case of overlapping IP
The January 1, 2024 expiration of the ‘Steamboat Willie’ copyright registration has received a significant amount of attention both in the media and in the legal community. Unfortunately, this attention has often been imprecise and exaggerated, which may lead to a great deal of confusion in the marketplace as individuals and small businesses try to take advantage of this presumed opportunity. In reality, the impact of this copyright expiration will likely be minimal, given Disney’s aggressive protection of its global ambassador Mickey Mouse, and the power of overlapping IP protection.
As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.
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