Posted on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
Briefly: What’s the best way to get attention for your company? When all else fails, sue another major company, claiming said entity stole your creation. That’s what’s happening with Disney and the New Jersey company Diece-Lisa Industries, which says that the Toy Story 3 character Lotso “illegally copies its patented snuggling stuffed animals.” Which sounds ridiculous, but a patent is a patent, I suppose.
The problem isn’t quite that Diece-Lisa actually makes toys like Lotso, but that it licenses that snuggling technology to other companies for their toys. The claim is that Disney knew about said tech because DLI had sold the snuggle to the Jim Henson Company for another toy, and so Pixar storytellers necessarily knew about it. The chief complaint isn’t just that Toy Story 3 featured the secret snuggle system, but that DLI could not continue to license it to other companies, out of fear that those parties would be targeted by Disney for infringing on the Lotso design. We’ll see how that holds up in court.
You can see products using the DLI tech here, and try to get an idea of whether a judge will agree that the company’s patents were somehow infringed. One thing’s for sure: we all know a lot more about DLI now, so mission accomplished on that front. [The Wrap]