View Full Version : Warrin' over California

09-08-2002, 09:43 PM
Lawsuit: Map maker that says it owns the name California Adventure sues Disney, which sues back over the use of Disneyland's logo on a tourist map.

The Orange County Register

What's in a name?

In the case of California Adventure, those which we call a trademark dispute and a federal lawsuit.

World Impressions, a small company in Tracyton, Wash., says it claimed the name California Adventure in 1986, when it began making a map that features tourist attractions. That was 15 years before the Anaheim theme park opened with the name Disney's California Adventure.

World Impressions wants Disney to abandon the name immediately, and it's waiting for a federal court in Illinois to decide who owns what. World Impressions originally sued McDonald's Corp. for using California Adventure on a promotional item connected with Disney. No monetary damages have been set in the lawsuit.

Disney attorneys say it's an "ill-conceived and baseless lawsuit" because the two companies work in completely different businesses: theme parks and advertising. But Robert Sherby, owner of World Impressions, contends that Disney most certainly is in the advertising business - promoting its parks.

Disney also says its name is distinct: Disney's California Adventure.

But Sherby says it often drops the word "Disney," or publications don't use "Disney," making the name so similar that it has confused his customers. When he began selling ads for an updated map last year, other attractions declined, saying they didn't want to be included on a "Disney product."

Sherby says he asked Disney last year to use some other name, claiming it is his. Disney says it never received the e-mail Sherby says he sent to its Web site.

The two also are squabbling over the use of the Disneyland name.

Sherby's California Adventure map shows the locations of many tourist attractions, many with their stylized logos, including Disneyland's classic script and castle logo. That's permissible, he says, under the so-called fair-use doctrine that allows the use of a name for information purposes.

Disney doesn't see it that way, and it has sued World Impressions, alleging that it used its name illegally. Disney filed that suit shortly after Sherby sued over the use of California Adventure.

"All I did was use their name to show their location, and that's fair use,'' Sherby said. "And they let me do it for 16 years, giving them free advertising, until they suddenly decided to sue me.''

But Disney spokesman Ray Gomez said, "We believe we have been harmed by the plaintiff's use of the Disney logo and trademark.''

Motions in the case are scheduled to be heard this month.

09-09-2002, 08:49 PM
Good god, as if anything could get worse...

Wait, do you know if Disney's America is copyrighted?


09-10-2002, 10:20 AM
I would like to know how Disney was harmed by having their park location shown on a map.

Call me cynical, but to countersue with such a lame reason, makes me wonder if there is merit to the original suit?

I hope this doesn't become a high profile case, because I don't think Disney's legal unit has been an overwhelming success in those type of cases.

09-10-2002, 10:37 AM
A judge with good common sense needs to throw both cases out.

09-10-2002, 11:06 AM
Just how careful are Disney lawyers being? A couple of years back they got into trouble with the Go.com/goto.com logo. You would think that they would have checked out "California Adventure" with more "due dilligence".

Walt's Frozen Head
09-10-2002, 11:32 AM
Why should the first case be thrown out?

A company is in business for over a decade using a name, Disney steals the name and now the business is losing long-time customers because the name is now "Disney's."

That sounds like a legitimate lawsuit.


09-10-2002, 11:46 AM

Is a name like California Adventure so unique that it can be trademarked or copywritted ? Just a simple two word search on yahoo found a couple California Adventure business' . Maybe if the Map guy can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he lost money because of DCA then maybe I'll agree. But my cynical nature leads me to believe otherwise.

09-10-2002, 12:21 PM
I guess Disney would be back in court if they tried to rename DCA something like "Disney's Six Flaggs"

09-16-2002, 06:47 AM
I can see the confusion. If i was talking about Disney California Adventure most people would probably think i was talking about a map company and not a theme park. ;)

09-16-2002, 07:24 AM
Wantogo -- LOL

09-16-2002, 09:34 AM
The reasons the original case should be thrown out are 1 by adding Disney's to the term Disney changed it therefore the did not use the companies name. The second reason is because like someone else said the two compaines like Delta and Delta are in compleatly different businesses. And that stuff about Disney most certainly being in the advertising business is just plain crazy.

Also Disney was not harmed by the company using Disneylands name. Using the name is perfectly legal, people do it all the time in maps and brocures and I used it once in this post. However using to Copyrighted Logo with script and castle is not perfectly legal it is most certainly ilegal. Using someones logo is not covered by the fair use doctrine. In conclusion Disney did nothing illegal which is why the case should and will be thrown out, However the map company did. This one should be interesting.

09-17-2002, 06:01 PM
Sherby says he asked Disney last year to use some other name, claiming it is his. Disney says it never received the e-mail Sherby says he sent to its Web site.
Hey Scoop:
Is this how you issue a cease and desist request?