A Toymaker says the Disney/Pixar film Cars and all the toys and products associated with it are violating his trademark design for his ‘real cars’ limited edition toys. At issue is the use of an upside down chevron.
Hmm. That’s a tough call. Obviously you can’t trademark a generic chevron (although Nike claims you can trademark a swoosh), but when used in conjunction with the word ‘cars’ it appears to be infringement. That said, the upside down chevron is evocative of a certain era of design for cars, enough that it might be considered a generic graphic device, in which case both sides marks are distinguishable and unique. I think it helps that Pixar’s logo has other graphical elements involved.
That said, I’m no lawyer… but it would be fun to be on the jury for this one, assuming it doesn’t get settled out of court.
Link: out of date website for Lea Knight’s Real Cars.