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Disney Sues Florida Couple


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  • Disney Sues Florida Couple

    A Clermont Florida couple got a million dollar surprise when they received a lawsuit from Walt Disney World recently.

    David and Marisol Chaveco own a party business and bought two costumes that happen to resemble two Disney characters. One of the costumes is an orange tiger that looks a lot like Tigger. The other costume is a blue donkey that resembles Eyeore.

    About a month after the couple advertised the availability of the characters for parties they opened the mail to find the lawsuit.

    We honestly saw them as an orange tiger and blue donkey,” said Marisol Perez-Chaveco. “We weren’t trying to impersonate anything.

    The Chaveco’s say they’re now trying to make things right with Disney as cheaply as possible. In the lawsuit the company made seven demands. The couple says they’ve done everything they’ve been asked except hand over the costumes for destruction. That’s because the Chaveco’s say they returned the tiger and donkey costumes to Peru for a $500.00 refund.

    “We need that money we invested,” said Perez-Chavco. “I panicked sent them back.”

    Perez-Chaveco says they can’t afford a lawyer to handle their case because Disney is asking for them to pay the legal fees for both sides. The case is expected to cost Disney $10,000 and the Chaveco’s admit that’s a lot less than the money they would’ve lost on the costumes.

    Disney wouldn’t comment about the lawsuit but in it lawyers claim because Disney did not authorize or license the Infringing Costume Services, it cannot control the quality and nature of the performance, the quality of the costume(s), the quality and background the individual(s) providing the performance and the quality of the content of the performance.

    One Disney expert said these cases put the company in a difficult position. Rollins College Political Science Professor Dr. Rick Foglesong said the company calls itself the happiest place on earth and doesn’t want to be perceived as making anyone miserable.

    “When it comes to dealing with someone perceived to infringe upon their trademark they can be pretty rough on people,” he said. “I think they want to send a message here to other potential infringers on that trademark ‘hey don’t tread here’.”

    The Chaveco’s said the message they’re also getting is Disney is looking to make an example out of them.

  • #2
    Re: Disney Sues Florida Couple

    I've seen TV coverage that says Disney sent them 3 cease and desist letters before they sent the lawsuit.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather


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