There’s a dichotomy to being big, a paradox that comes with size relative to those around you: it’s understood and expected that you should take the care to look out for those smaller than you as you make your way through the world, and yet being big gives you the option to simply do as you choose by virtue of the fact that you can make others get out of your way, lest they be knocked over or crushed.
In these terms, Disney would be the Gulliver of Jonathan Swift’s famous tome, with the overwhelming majority of other companies Lilliputians, to say nothing of us ordinary citizens who would be smaller still. Disney can choose to watch its step so as to not trod on other companies, or it can do and go as it pleases, unconcerned that any real damage could be done to it by the diminutive bodies barely perceptible from its perspective.
It’s unclear whether Disney choose to take the latter approach in this particular case, but whatever its intent, it has found itself caught in a copyright case involving its latest billion-dollar blockbuster hit. The suit comes from a Nevada-based cancer charity called Trust Your Journey, which is claiming that Disney is infringing upon its trademark on its company name by using that phrase in both Frozen 2 and merchandise related to the film. Although the case is still playing out, there doesn’t seem to be much need for the usual caveats: there are a handful of results for active trademarks for “Trust Your Journey,” all belonging to Trust Your Journey LLC., while a separate search turns up no shortage of Frozen 2 merchandise featuring that phrase.
It seems inconceivable that a company the size of Disney, with its resources and assuredly robust legal department, could commit such an oversight as using someone else’s trademark so prominently without even a cursory search. Is it a case of hubris, or simply an oversight as happens with such a large company, a case where something simply falls into the cracks as everyone assumes someone else is going to handle it? As curious as we might be about intent, it hardly matters in a case that is seemingly so cut-and-dried. The notion fighting a cancer charity in a court case is likely not the PR that Disney would want, so the company will undoubtedly have to come to some sort of agreement with the Trust Your Journey charity involving a sizable and generous donation at the very least. All things considered, it wouldn’t be the worst result for either side, and it might cause Disney to be a bit more careful in the future.