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The Atlanta Braves vs. Pixar's "Brave"

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This week, a small Brooklyn deli joined the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Disney (DIS) in a pretty inauspicious way. Rolex Deli—whose incensed owner told the New York Post: “Apparently, Rolex doesn’t know the difference between a sandwich and a watch”—has been taken to court for violating the watchmaker’s trademark.

As far as the two bigger companies go, we reported earlier this month on Apple’s ongoing iPad trademark dispute with Chinese company Proview. At around the same time, Disney filed a claim against Canada’s Pixar Petroleum Company, a company owned, according to the Wall Street Journal, by Paramount Resources—who also own Fox Drilling, Summit Resources and have a significant investment in MGM Energy Corp.

In what might be even stranger news, Disney blog Stitch Kingdom reported Sunday that the company has been engaged in a trademark dispute with the Atlanta Braves since last summer. The reason? Pixar’s new movie Brave might steal business away from the Braves’ merchandise.

There are a few issues with the Braves’ claim, not least among them the fact that, while the franchise owns the trademark on “Braves,” they don’t own one on “Brave.” In a problem that might hit closer to home, the Braves’ training camp is located at 700 S. Victory Lane, Lake Buena Vista, Disney World, according to Spring Training Online.

The Atlanta National League Baseball Club—the Braves’ owners—believes that damages will occur because they occasionally use the singular form on merchandise. However, Stitch Kingdom is quick to point out that at least as far as a Google search goes, there’s only one piece of Braves’ merchandise with the word Brave on it.

The two companies are currently in private negotiations.

It has been said that Pixar can always change Brave back to its original title The Bear and the Bow. The movie isn’t set to release until this summer, so Disney and Pixar have some time to sort things out and, if they are required to change the name, time to redesign their ad campaign around the new title. However, Brave has been getting a lot of positive press—it’s the first Disney movie to star a female warrior—and it would be a shame to have to build buzz around a different title.
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