Zippo Co. Takes Dim View of <I>Dinotopia</I> Character28 Jun, 2002 By: Holly J. Wagner
The Zippo butane lighter company is taking The Walt Disney Co. and Hallmark Entertainment to court to douse the use of its trademark as the name of a character in the Dinotopia movie and video release.
The lawsuit, filed in Erie, Penn., alleges the companies enfringed Zippo's trademark by naming one of the dinosaur characters in the film Zippo.
“Zippo has been our trademark since our founder George Blaisdell began manufacturing and marketing our famous windproof lighters in 1932,” said Zippo president and CEO Gregory Booth. “We market our products in over 120 countries around the world and have registered the ‘Zippo' mark in all of these countries. There should be no doubt that we clearly own all rights to the ‘Zippo' mark.
“It concerns us that Hallmark Entertainment, Disney and ABC elected to use our mark without our knowledge. As with all companies owning famous “marks”, we have an obligation to defend our mark and our recent action is standard procedure available to companies whose trademarks have been infringed upon.”The company is working to “amicably resolve this issue with Hallmark Entertainment, Disney and ABC,” he added.
Disney spokespersons referred inquiries to Hallmark Entertainment corporate counsel Tony Guido, who did not immediately return calls seeking a comment.
It was unclear but did not appear likely the lawsuit would delay the Dinotopia video release, scheduled for July 30.