Slogan from ‘Frozen 2’ Lands Disney in Copyright Squabble
For the last three weeks, “Frozen 2” has warmed the hearts of global film fans, fetching more than $929 million at the box office. The owners of Trust Your Journey, a company that sells consumer goods with inspiring messages for women, however, are feeling left out in the cold, as they have presented a lawsuit that contends that Disney is violating a copyright by using their name as the de facto slogan for the movie’s characters.
— Distinct Athlete (@DistinctAthlete) December 11, 2019
Disney is making its third appearance in our Headlines coverage this week, with the previous instances touching on its handling of Baby Yoda merch sales and its distinction as a vehement protector of copyrights. Given that second instance, this story might strike some as ironic.
Through the lawsuit, Trust Your Journey is asking for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to force Disney to cease sales of goods that bear the “Trust Your Journey” mantra from “Frozen 2.” The World Intellectual Property Review added that Trust Your Journey has maintained a merchandise presence since 2007, with that duration potentially giving its owners solid footing over Disney, given the newness of the movie.
Through its retail operations, Trust Your Journey has been marketing accessories, apparel and drinkware that promote that never-back-down mentality, and the lawsuit shows that it feels consumers could confuse its message with the one that Disney is using to market its new movie. Disney has already released various goods with the "Trust Your Journey" phrase, making it easy for Trust Your Journey the company to produce evidence to support its claim.
How, then, could Disney counter? Could it look to flex its industry muscles by claiming that there is zero chance that anyone would confuse its branded and character-centric products with those of the Nevada business? Could it admit culpability and accept the plaintiff’s desire to have all trademark-bearing products destroyed?
That second question seems far less likely, but we are curious to see how this case, yet another example of a high-profile figure going up against a lesser-known foe, will proceed— and whether Disney will have to “let it go” with respect to fighting with Trust Your Journey.