0370 270 6000

Bunny battle settled

16 June 2011

The long standing dispute between the creators of Miffy and Hello Kitty’s companion Cathy has finally been settled.

Miffy, a small white female rabbit, was created in 1955 by Dick Bruna. Cathy, also a small white female rabbit, was created by Sanrio in 1976.

In 2010 Mercis Media BV (Mr Bruna’s copyright management firm) brought trade mark and copyright infringement proceedings against Sanrio. Why it took Mr Bruna 34 years to bring proceedings is unclear…

Sanrio was ordered to stop production, sale and marketing of Cathy character goods in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg and to pay €25,000 per day if it did not comply, up to a maximum of €2m.

Sanrio appealed and filed a counter claim seeking the Miffy trade mark be removed from the register.

The matter has now been resolved, with Sanrio agreeing to no longer use the Cathy character. Both parties have also agreed to donate €150,000 jointly to the victims of the Japan earthquake. A very commendable settlement indeed.

Related opinions

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Right to Work Checks: Changes from 6 April 2022

From 6 April 2022, right to work checks on all migrant or settled prospective employees must be online and checks on British or Irish nationals will be manual (free) or digital (charged for).

View blog

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Directors who fail to prepare, should prepare to fail

Two recent judgments demonstrate the risk that directors (of insolvent companies) face of being personally liable if appropriate records and procedures are not followed and if it cannot be shown that certain payments were in the interests of the company.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up