Joel Zimmerman, better known by his stage name Deadmau5, filed with the Trademark Office back in 2013 to secure a trademark for his logo, a black mouse-head with white eyes and a smile. The logo is a graphic representation of the mouse helmet he wears while performing his DJ duties on stage and at promotional events. Disney believes, however, the logo is nearly identical to their Mickey Mouse logo, and have been negotiating with Zimmerman since 2013.
Zimmerman, however, has allegedly declined several deals extended by Disney to accommodate DJ’s mouse helmet. Disney then decided to take legal action by filing the motion in opposition with the Trademark Office claiming the mark is nearly identical and will cause deceit and confusion as stated in §2(d) of the Lanham Act.
According to his lawyer, Dina LaPolt, “[Zimmerman] will not be bullied by Disney and is prepared to fight to protect his rights to his property.” Deadmau5 has worn the mouse helmet for 10 years and has trademark for the logo in 30 countries. Zimmerman extended the fight beyond the Trademark Office, using Twitter to sway public opinion: “Disney thinks you might confuse an established electronic musician/performer with a cartoon mouse. That’s how stupid they think you are.”