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Lawsuit Roundup: "Robinson Curiosite" vs. "Robinson Sucroe", "Frozen" vs. "Frozen Land"

The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Canadian animator Claude Robinson in a copyright infringement lawsuit against animation firm Cinar over Robinson’s proposal for a cartoon character titled “Robinson Curiosite.” After submitting his proposal to a number of production companies over 20 years ago, Cinar brought the extremely similar show Robinson Sucroe to the Canadian airwaves a few years later. Robinson sued in 1994, getting a $5.2 million award in 2009, but even though the Quebec Court of Appeal upheld the verdict on appeal in 2011, the court also cut Robinson’s award in half to $2.7 million. Robinson appealed to the Canadian Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Robinson and ordered Cinar to pay Robinson’s $1.5 million in legal costs and $400,000 in punitive damages.

Elsewhere, Disney has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Phase 4 Films, alleging that the latter studio’s feature animated film The Legend of Sarila was renamed and rebranded as Frozen Land to capitalize on the promotional push for Disney’s Frozen, with Disney’s lawsuit specifically citing similarities between the Frozen logo and the new Frozen Land logo. Disney is asking for an injunction, destruction of all Frozen Land DVDs, compensatory and damages, lost profits, and actual damages.

(Claude Robinson story via TZ member stephane dumas)

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