Lawyers for Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Sanrio have filed a trademark infringement complaint against two eBay sellers in a California federal court. The complaint alleges that the two men have been using an eBay storefront to sell counterfeit cake toppers featuring the likenesses of the plaintiffs' trademarked images without permission.
According to the trademark infringement complaint, the defendant's edible cake frosting sheets are decorated with animated and live action characters such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Hello Kitty, Darth Vader and Captain America. The complaint includes about 15 pages with lists of the numerous unauthorized images that were allegedly added to products manufactured by the defendants.
Prior to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs say that their cease and desist demands were ignored by the defendants. The complaint alleges that the defendants acted in willful disregard of the law and thus confused and deceived consumers about the origin of their products. The plaintiffs are seeking damages and asking for the seizure of all of the equipment that is used by the defendants to create the cake toppers.
Intellectual property like trademarked images and logos can be very valuable to the companies that own it. When images and logos are used without authorization, customers are deceived, and a company's reputation can end up being damaged by products of inferior quality. A lawyer may be able to help a company to take legal action against parties that are infringing on the company's copyrights and trademarks.
Source: Consumerist, "Disney, Lucasfilm, Sanrio Sue Makers Of Counterfeit Marvel, Star Wars, Hello Kitty Cake Frosting," Chris Morran, Sept. 4, 2015