The BBC reports that Disney has won its 13 year royalties battle against Stephen Slesinger Inc, which had claimed that it was owed millions of dollars in unpaid Winnie the Pooh royalties. It seems though the case was not decided on trade mark or contractual grounds. Instead, the judge decided against Stephen Slesinger Inc because it had stolen documents from Disney's premises. Said Judge Charles McCoy, “SSI's willingness to tamper with, and even corrupt, the litigation process constitutes a substantial threat to the integrity of the judicial process”. Slesinger had argued in its defence that Disney had known that it was rummaging around in its dustbins for years but had never objected. This did not impress the US judge. Nonetheless, Slesinger has said that it plans to appeal.
The IPKat says that it’s a shame that the trade mark issues weren’t resolved here, but illegally obtaining documents is a bad idea in any field of law and the court’s position ought to discourage the practice. In a related story, the BBC reports that a team from the Czech Republic has taken the title of Pooh-sticks champions at the 21st annual world championship Pooh-sticks race. The IPKat wonders if this is a case of the expropriation of English traditional knowledge?
“Real” Winnie the Pooh here
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh here
Philosophy of Winnie the Pooh here
Pooh-sticks here, here and here
Tuesday, 30 March 2004
Posted by Unknown at 12:45:00 am