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The Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse's two ears sit on top of his head in such a way that the silhouette looks a bit like a water molecule, with the head as the oxygen atom and the two ears as the hydrogens.

To take the comparison further, I wanted to find the original trademark filed by Disney, or subsequent filings and look to see if there is either an angle specified (and size ratio between the head and the ear) or at least an official artwork specimen which I could analyze.

I've found the post Mickey’s Headed to the Public Domain! But Will He Go Quietly? which lists several filings, including TM Reg. 3750188, 0315056, 1152389, 3036883, 3006350, and 3598848 but likely some of these are not Mickey Mouse.

I don't know how to check those. When I try google patents for example, I can't find a way to see trademarks, which of course is not a surprise.

How can I find the angle between Mickey Mouse's ears as specified in an official trademark filing? If nothing helpful exists, what would be the next closest thing to it?

Mickey Mouse, copyright Walt Disney Corporation Source water molecules Source


I've also found Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog's 90th Anniversary of Mickey Mouse’s First Appearance on Steamboat Willie. though I'm not sure it offers a proper view for measuring the angle:

Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog's [90th Anniversary of Mickey Mouse’s First Appearance


Also this presentation, which does not seem overly helpful: Deadmau5 Trademark Infringement Case

enter image description here

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    The presentation seems to set out the legal position clearly: the trademark does not apply to a figure with ears at a specific angle, but to "a round head with prominent round mouse ears". Whether any particular competitor infringes this could attract much expert evidence, but geometry is probably not part of it – Tim Lymington Apr 8 '19 at 8:40
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    The trademark, as asserted here, is not just for 'the stylized logo seen in the shorts of the 20s and 30s', but for any round head. Such marks can be valid in the US even if unregistered: see this. – Tim Lymington Apr 8 '19 at 10:41
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    @uhoh Welcome to Law.SE! I expect your questions will be as thought provoking as they are on other SE sites. – A. K. Apr 8 '19 at 14:48
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    @uhoh I think it is fine there. FWIW I actually intend to answer it, but to give a quality answer will take a bit of time. – A. K. Apr 8 '19 at 15:34
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    @uhoh I have suggested a badge for people like you: meta.stackexchange.com/q/326805/428676 – A. K. Apr 16 '19 at 2:53
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US Patent and trademark office

You can find the relevant documents on http://tsdr.uspto.gov/ , which are trivially searchable by the trademark registration numbers you provide.

However, I'd doubt that "the angle between Mickey Mouses ears" is a term that will appear in any of these documents; a visual trademark will generally supply particular example drawings and a vague description, and it's up to the courts to decide if any particular usage is close enough to cause confusion or not, there isn't and can't be any formal criteria as in "this angle between ears is okay and that angle is not".

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  • Excellent, I'll have a look. Hopefully I'll find "...at least an official artwork specimen which I could analyze." – uhoh Apr 8 '19 at 9:03
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    Mickey is drawn differently throughout the years. Which version would you choose? – Putvi Apr 8 '19 at 16:51

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