Beskyttelse af ikke-­registrerede varemærker og brands som vedvarende konkurrencefordele: En case om Disney og figuren Mickey Mouse

Thaiana Canavarros Balbino

Student thesis: Master thesis


Mickey Mouse is one of Disney's most famous characters and has, since his "birth" in 1928, stared in numerous short films and comics. Mickey Mouse is published in countries all over the world and functions as an ambassador for the Disney Corporation. I have analysed how non-­‐registered trademarks are protected under Danish trademark law and whether Mickey Mouse qualifies for this protection. I have found that, since the first time the character was used as a marketing object to sell products marked with the Mickey Mouse trademark, Mickey Mouse fulfils the requirements to be protected as a non-­‐registered trademark in Denmark. Furthermore, the trademark Mickey Mouse enjoys a broader protection because of the character's status as a well-­‐known trademark, and this protection allows Disney to deny the use of an identical or similar mark for any other product or service. Disney has a strong brand, and the company brand Disney as well as the product brand Mickey Mouse have strong brand values. Disney has a unique consumer franchise that makes the company successful in a slew of businesses from soft toys to theme parks and videos. Disney has managed to leverage its brand attributes: brand positioning, brand identity, brand value, brand reputation and its product features, and has thereby created a high loyalty among the consumers. This has helped create a sustainable competitive advantage for Disney. Factors like the Disney's attention to product quality, involvement in social responsibility and ability to enter new markets have helped strengthen Disney's brand value and consumer relations and to create a sustainable competitive advantage for the company. Protecting trademarks internationally can be difficult at times. The international conventions such as the TRIPs agreement and the Paris convention have helped harmonising the protection of IPR's globally, but firms may still experience problems when trying to protect their trademarks in foreign countries. Some countries, such as China, are still viewed as "safe havens" for those that wish to infringe trademark rights. Global cooperations with well-­‐ known brands, such as Disney, will have to be vigilant in protecting their trademarks. A trademark strategy for Disney could be to bury infringers in long and expensive lawsuits and thereby make it clear that Disney is willing to spend time and money to protect its trademarks from being infringed in order to protect the company's brand value and the consumers' perception of the brand. This strategy might also discourage potential infringers from infringements as the risk and the cost of being caught would be too high.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages101