The Walt Disney Company (DIS) Is Back From the Dead

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The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has had a great run up lately, rising almost 30% this year. Its latest increase was due to an unexpectedly fine Q1 performance, with profits climbing 32%. In another area, however, the company has just had a huge flop.

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) announced long ago that the Pixar dream filmmaking team of director Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson (whose last project was Toy Story 3) would be working on a new film based on the holiday known as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which is celebrated in Mexico and several other Latin American countries on the first and second days of November. Unlike Halloween, the dia de los muertos is an intense celebration of family and friends who have died.

People pray for deceased family members, and altars are prepared with photos and memorabilia. Food and drink are also displayed in their honor. Trips are made to the cemeteries and grave sites cleaned and decorated, and food and drink once again offered.

No one seemed to mind that The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) was making a movie on this theme, but when The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) applied to trademark the name “Día de los Muertos” on May 1, it is not surprising that an uproar ensued.

In all, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) made 10 filings:

Filing ID Goods and Services Covered
85920880 IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Education and entertainment services
85920877 IC 029. US 046. G & S: Fruit preserves; fruit-based snack foods; eggs; jams; jellies; potato chips; nuts; dairy products; meat; poultry; fruits; vegetables; prepared or packaged meals consisting primarily of meat, fish, poultry or vegetables
85920876 IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Toys, games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles (except clothing); hand-held units for playing electronic games for use with or without an external display screen or monitor; Christmas stockings; Christmas tree ornaments and decorations; snow globes
85920873 IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, footwear and headwear
IC 018. US 001 002 003 022 041. G & S: Bags; backpacks; calling card cases; coin purses; fanny packs; key cases; key chains; luggage; luggage tags; purses; umbrellas; wallets
85920868 IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Paper and paper articles; cardboard and cardboard articles; printed matter; publications; books; photographs; portraits; paintings; stationery; office and school supplies
85920866 IC 014. US 002 027 028 050. G & S: Clocks; jewelry; jewelry boxes; jewelry cases; key rings of precious metal; coins; watches; watch bands
85920861 IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; audio books; audio recordings; audio and visual recordings; video game software; computer programs and software; consumer electronics and accessories therefor; eyeglasses and sunglasses and accessories therefor; binoculars; decorative magnets; graduated rulers
85920856 IC 003. US 001 004 006 050 051 052. G & S: Cosmetics; dentifrices; non-medicated toiletries; fragrances; perfumes
85920850 IC 030. US 046. G & S: Confectionery and chewing gum; breakfast cereals and preparations made from cereals; cereal bars; bread; muffins; muffin bars; pastry; waffles; pancakes; cookies; crackers; biscuits; popcorn; corn chips; pretzels; puddings; coffee; tea; cocoa; sugar; rice; flour; ices; ice; honey; condiments; sauces; spices; pizza; pasta and noodles; macaroni and cheese; frozen meals consisting primarily of pasta or rice; staple foods

The Huffington Post noted a tweet by Aida Lu:

Día de Muertos is a Mexican tradition, it is part of our culture!!! It s NOT a product. It CANNOT be a trademark! @Disney @DisneyPixar

Grace Sesma of Nederland, CO started a petition – Walt Disney Company: Stop Trademark of “Dia de los Muertos.” – that received over 21,000 signatures before claiming victory.

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