Just two weeks after the release of Disney Pixar’s Cars film a lawsuit was filed by Mark Brill, a apparently well known stock race car driver, alleged that the two companies appropriated the designs the animated film’s main character, Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson).
“For the last 13 years, his race cars have been painted bright red with the number 95 on the doors,” said Brill, who owns a vehicle with a similar likeness to McQueens design, said in his original lawsuit on the films release.
Now something like 2 years later, the score has been settled — in court no less. The conclusion to a relatively small lawsuit, as not even mention of it is up on the films Wikipedia page (which is saying something!), has been made in court.
The main issue is that Brill claims that Disney and Pixar “infringed and misappropriated” the “95” mark and his “rights of publicity in their new animated movie”. Which is total hogwash, as the most animated films draw from inspiration, as most characters have real-life counter-parts — and it’s not like he owns the rights to the number “95” too. So in my head I would say he has no case at all really.
And the court seems to agree, as the Hollywood Reporter…reports that on November 30th, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled in favor of Disney Pixar; adding “a fictional, talking, driver-less red race car with the number 95 on it cannot be construed as a likeness of a driver of a similarly colored/numbered race car.”
Too-bloody-right it isn’t!!
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