As most Pixar fans know, John Lasseter was inspired by his own Luxo brand lamp for Pixar’s first short film, Luxo Jr.
The Norwegian lamp manufacturer, Luxo ASA, which settled with Pixar over the name "Luxo Jr." more than 20 years ago, is filing a new complaint in New York federal court over the name’s use in limited edition products by Disney.
What do they mean by that? According to the Oslo-based company, Disney/Pixar hasn’t merchandised products using "Luxo Jr." explicitly until now. Apparently this breaches past agreements and would "cause devastating damage to Luxo and dilute the goodwill which Luxo has built up." Luxo ASA is citing the Luxo Jr. Premium Combo Pack and the animatronic Luxo Jr. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as infringing on their trademark.
In my opinion, the complaint is ridiculous considering Pixar and Luxo came to a settlement way back in the 80’s over the use of their name. So why does it matter now? Oh wait, it’s because Disney’s making money off of it in an actual tangible product. I’d have thought that Luxo would be happy about their name being spread by one of the most trusted entities in the movie industry. But it’s all about money isn’t it…
A spokesperson for Disney said he/she hadn’t been informed and wouldn’t comment until he/she read through the complaint. If you’ve read The Pixar Touch, you’ll know that the studio has been slammed with countless lawsuits and typically wins the cases. I wonder how this one will go. Hopefully Disney/Pixar can hop away unscathed.