Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SOMETHING CHANGED THAT DAY INSIDE LOTSO. SOMETHING SNAPPED:  A New Jersey manufacturer is claiming that Disney/Pixar stole from it the concept of a bear who dispenses "lots of hugs," though it's unclear whether theirs is an evil bear who smells of strawberries.


  1. I haven't read any of the briefs and so only have the Hollywood Reporter story, but yes, the have a case. I would imagine the rights clearance process on the toy story movies was laborious. So the question becomes, did Disney think they had the rights?

    On an unrelated note I wonder if Disney lawyers know how to mount a defense? I have a mental image of some extremely confused partner. He's never seen a Complaint he didn't write himself.

  2. A few additional lawyer-y thoughts:

    1. The choice to file in ED Texas/Marshall is a bit odd--that court is known for a patent "rocket docket" and has become a home for what is sometimes called "patent troll" litigation. Especially when coupled with the big delay in filing and what seems to be a somewhat messy chain of licensing/title on the plaintiff's part, it raises my eyebrow.

    2. Notably, the complaint is devoid of ANY explanation of why they waited over 3 years to file a complaint. This is going to be a big problem for them in terms of potentially limiting damages/injunctive relief.

    3. I think their two strongest claims are for infringement under a reverse confusion theory based on any actual Lotso toys Disney has sold, and for dilution. That said, neither of those are slam dunks. They do have a registration for LOTS OF HUGS as applied to plush toys, and there's a colorable claim that LOTSOHUGGIN for a plush toy would be confusingly similar. (If this goes anywhere, the surveys will be fascinating.)