Mouse Trap: Deadmau5 Preparing for Legal Battle With Disney
The Disney corporation and Joel “Deadmau5” Zimmerman have never seen ear-to-ear – and now the company has filed in opposition of the EDM star’s trademark logo (a black-and-white replication of his mouse head, worn on-stage for a decade), which they say closely resembles their own, Mickey Mouse-inspired image.
But Zimmerman is confident he’ll take the big cheese if the matter winds up in court: “Lawyer up mickey,” he tweeted Tuesday night, followed by another confident declaration: “Disney thinks you might confuse an established electronic musician / performer with a cartoon mouse. That’s how stupid they think you are.”
“The deadmau5 front facing mau5head is a registered trademark in 30 countries worldwide,” the musician’s attorney Dina LaPolt tells Rolling Stone. “In June of last year, deadmau5 applied to register the front facing mau5head with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Disney is now opposing the U.S. filing. 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. Our client will not be bullied by Disney and is prepared to fight to protect his rights to his property.”
Multiple requests for comment to Disney were not returned.
As reported back in April, the registration would allow the logo to appear on an array of products, including electronic equipment, toys, entertainment services, BMX bikes, paper and leather goods, and even food products like coffee. Disney claims the Deadmau5 trademark would damage their business and mislead consumers. In 2012, the producer did acknowledge the alleged Mickey similarities in a 2012 Rolling Stone cover story, saying, “Someone at the Disney patent office fell asleep on that one.”
The seventh Deadmau5 album, the double-disc June release While (1<2), found Zimmerman experimenting with new sounds and textures. That same month, the outspoken producer unleashed some unkind words about contemporary EDM in an interview with London Evening Standard, likening the movement to a sinking ship.
“As they say, the rat is the first one to jump off the boat when it starts going down, and that’s kind of what’s happening,” he said. “It’s already been going down the last couple of years, for me. Maybe not in the industry. Maybe there’ll be a whole new herd of sheep following that shit, and fucking good luck. . . I think it’ll eventually fuck itself so hard.”