September 11, 2012 6:15pm PT by Seth Abramovitch
Disney Sends Warning to Makers of 'Braver'
Disney has sent a strong warning to Brightspark Production Ltd., a British company marketing a number of direct-to-DVD titles that bear an uncanny resemblance -- in packaging at least -- to Disney releases.
For instance, their latest title is Braver -- a 45-minute animated fairytale that features a redheaded princess in a green dress on its cover, just as this summer's Brave did on its poster. To add to the confusion, Braver uses a Celtic-inspired title font almost identical to the one used in Brave's marketing,
And there are others: Tangled Up, highly reminiscent of Tangled; The Frog Princess, not to be confused with The Princess and the Frog; and Little Cars -- which isn't Cars.
Disney has sent Brightspark a cease-and-desist letter demanding they withdraw the DVDs from the market, or else face litigation.
Disney said in a statement: "People place great trust in the quality and creativity of Disney, and when it appears that another company is causing confusion among Disney consumers we will act to protect ourselves and the consumer. Disney believes Brightspark has demonstrated a pattern of misleading consumers with numerous releases that confuse and undermine the trust those consumers have in Disney."
Brightspark has replied in a statement that they are in discussions with Disney to find a "mutually acceptable" resolution, The Guardian reports.
"All we've tried to do is give parents something their children will hopefully find entertaining," the company says. "We came up with our title around 18 months ago and if we thought consumers would mistake our film for Brave, we would have renamed it."
This isn't Disney's first trademark dispute with respect to Brave -- though the last time, it was they who were on the defensive. In late 2011, the studio faced opposition from the Atlanta Braves, with the Major League ball club claiming rights to the trademarked word "Brave."