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Day of the Dead trademark request draws backlash for Disney
Traditional sugar calaveritas, or little skulls, are displayed in Mexico City on October 31 ahead of the Day of the Dead.
May 11th, 2013
09:10 AM ET

Day of the Dead trademark request draws backlash for Disney

By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN

Read this article in Spanish on CNNMexico.com.

(CNN) - Is it possible to trademark the name of a holiday? The Walt Disney Company was interested in doing so.

On May 1, the entertainment giant filed an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure the phrase "Día de los Muertos," or "Day of the Dead," across multiple platforms. Disney subsidiary Pixar is releasing a film - for time being called "The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dia de los Muertos" - this fall.

Here's the problem - Día de los Muertos is a traditional holiday celebrated on November 1 and 2 in Mexico and across Latin America. People honor the lives of lost family members or friends by building altars, holding processions, decorating gravesites and placing offerings for loved ones. Over the years, the holiday has gained a foothold in the United States, too.

Disney hoped to secure the rights to the title "Day of the Dead" and such themed merchandise as fruit preserves, fruit-based snacks, toys, games, clothing, footwear, backpacks, clocks and jewelry.

But the Latino community raised a ruckus about the application on social media.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Jorge

    ABSOLUTELY NOT, it is totally irreverent, disrespectful and downright belligerent for a U.S. corporation to attempt to trademark ANY aspect of a foreign or domestic culture that has preceded it's existence. This is equivalent to violation of sovereign rights. If this gets past the Supreme Court, Disney will be flooded by negative propaganda, national boycotts south of the border and a mountain of unprocessable, contemptuous copyright violations, just let them throw the first punch.

    May 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |