Ninth Circuit Ends Lawsuit Involving Copyright Protection for Characters, Leaving Plaintiffs in a Bad Mood

Photo Credit: istock.com/Ja_inter

Written by Robert H. Rotstein

On March 16, 2020, the Ninth Circuit ended a lawsuit alleging that Disney’s Inside Out infringed plaintiffs’ alleged copyright in characters known as “The Moodsters.” Daniels, et al., v. The Walt Disney Company, et al., Case No. 18-55635 (9th Cir. Mar. 16, 2020). The Court elaborated on the standards governing character protection and enunciated a rigorous standard for pleading “idea submission” claims in federal court.

Plaintiffs’ five characters are color-coded anthropomorphic emotions, each representing a different emotion. Between 2007 and 2009, Plaintiffs allegedly pitched The Moodsters to Disney. In 2015, Disney released Inside Out, a film that centers on five anthropomorphized emotions that live inside the mind of an eleven-year-old girl. Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Ends Lawsuit Involving Copyright Protection for Characters, Leaving Plaintiffs in a Bad Mood”