Deadmau5 has become known known for wearing what he calls a mau5head (pronounced “mousehead”) to each show, but now, Disney is claiming it bears too much resemblance to Mickey Mouse.
Last year, the DJ applied to get the headgear trademarked with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Disney is now opposing the application.
The mau5head, which the DJ has used in merchandise and on stage for years, is a registered trademark in nearly 30 countries, including the United Kingdom and Japan. Given his long history with the image, Deadmau5’s attorney Dina LaPolt questioned Disney’s motives in a statement. “Given that the mau5head and other identifying deadmau5 trademarks have been used in the U.S. and around the world for almost a decade, we wonder why Disney is only now coming after deadmau5,” LaPolt said. “Our client will not be bullied by Disney and is prepared to fight to protect his rights to his property.”
According to court documents, Disney’s grounds for opposition include “priority and likelihood of confusion” and “dilution.” “Disney, through its predecessors, related companies, and licensees, has used the MICKEY MOUSE word mark and the character depiction of MICKY MOUSE … in commerce in connection with entertainment services, films, music, cartoon strips, and books since at least 1928,” the document reads. Dozens of photos of merchandise printed with the Mickey Mouse ears are included in the 171 page-long opposition.
Disney has not returned EW’s request for comment.