top of page

Disney forced to face ‘Toy Story 3’ lawsuit

Taken from | Author: Nathan Kamal | Date: 20 June 2023

The Walt Disney Company is facing yet another crushing legal battle, this time involving the critically beloved hit film Toy Story 3 (2010), which is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most successful animated movies of all time. However, success often comes with a target attached, and the United States Supreme Court has ruled that Disney Pixar must go to court over a Pixar issue over which it has previously prevailed twice (per Reuters).

While that might sound like a case of double jeopardy, it is a little more complicated than that for Disney this time. Essentially, the Supreme Court has determined that a previous ruling for Disney Pixar regarding Toy Story 3 by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is not valid, and asking that the case be reviewed once more.

The Disney lawsuit was filed by New Jersey toy creator Randi Altschul, who claims that the Toy Story 3 character Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (who was voiced by legendary actor Ned Beatty) infringed on her company’s Lots of Hugs bear, which is a wearable stuffed animal. In that respect, it is a pretty cut-and-dry trade mark infringement case.

While the Toy Story 3 character was pretty overtly modelled after the real-life toy, previous courts had ruled that Disney was covered under First Amendment protections, which generally include things like parody and satire (or a cuddly pink bear toy turning out to be a bitter, autocratic tyrant).

Altschul’s lawsuit against Disney was dismissed twice before, in 2021 and 2022. However, the Supreme Court recently ruled against the “Rogers test”, basically saying that parody products do not necessarily merit First Amendment protections. Given that Disney/Pixar has actively marketed and sold real-life Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bears, which could be mistaken for Altschul’s Lots of Hugs bear, there is potentially a pretty huge case against the massive media conglomerate this time around.

Read Original Article

bottom of page