“The time has come,” the Walrus said,

“To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —

Of cabbages — and a true David and Goliath of a lawsuit.” Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, Lewis Carroll’s 1871 sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is a classic childhood tale with its famous depictions of the Jabberwocky and the Walrus and the Carpenter. Despite the whimsy, in 2018 a boutique shop in the heart of London, specializing in “Alice iconography including first edition books, rare illustrated editions, gifts, fashion and unique objects of desire,” has decided to take on the Walt Disney Company. The lawsuit revolves around a trademark dispute that arose following Disney’s 2016 release of the live action movie, “Alice Through the Looking Glass” with Johnny Depp. The store’s name, of course, is Alice Through the Looking Glass.

With the stage set in this manner, Alice Ltd., the UK-based corporation owning the retailer was alerted to the upcoming movie by Disney, and notified the movie-maker in 2014 of the trademarks it held in the UK and in the US. What followed was a series of emails and meetings between the parties, during which time Disney was more interested having a showing of the film at the store. Despite assurances by Disney, the movie-maker attempted to register a similar mark, which the US Patent and Trademark Office denied.

Some are skeptical of the likelihood of success due to the length of the delay between the start of these discussions and filing the suit. The thought being that at least the eight-month delay between the film’s release and the plaintiff filing suit was due to the plaintiff seeking to increase the potential money damages.

But, nevertheless, maybe this boutique shop’s lawsuit can go snicker-snack to the media giant and protect the trademark for their knick-knacks.

–James Christopher Gracey

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