The Party Animals LLC and owner Jason Lancaster are being sued by DC Comics, Disney and Sanrio for copyright and trademark infringement according to the lawsuit filed last week. The lawsuit alleges that the entertainment company is using costumes that breach Disney, DC Comics and Sanrio’s protected licenses for popular characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Hello Kitty, to name a few.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles, charges the defendants with using and renting costumes that resemble the protected companies characters and logos in violation of copyright and trademark laws. The Party Animal LLC uses these costumes for birthday parties and corporate parties.
“[The Party Animals] is actively selling, offering for sale, renting, distributing or manufacturing unlicensed and counterfeit costumes, which incorporate unauthorized likenesses of the animated or live action characters or other logos owned by plaintiffs,” the complaint said. “[The] defendants have never been authorized by the plaintiffs to distribute the plaintiffs’ copyrighted properties.”
The Party Animals advertise on their website these “Look-a-Like Characters” and lists them as “Green Superhero” and “Spider-Hero”. The website also includes photos of people dressed as Buzz Lightyear, Captain America, Supergirl, and many others.
The disclaimer on the website states, “Look-a-like Characters are not officially licensed. We DO NOT USE OR HAVE COPYRIGHTED OR LICENSED MATERIAL, COSTUMES, OR NAMES. We also aren’t affiliated with any companies that hold copyrights so don’t ask for characters relating to copyrighted names.”
The three plaintiffs that hold the licenses of these characters are Disney, DC Comics and Sanrio and their claim is the use of the allegedly infringing costumes will cause irreparable injury if it continues and are asking for $150,000 for each copyright infringement and $200,000 for each trademark infringement. They are also asking the court to increase this number to $2 million if the court finds the infringement is deliberate.
Pictures from the Party Animals website.
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