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Disney, Sanrio, DC Comics Sue Chicago 'Bounce House' owner
Bloomberg News

Chicago Moonwalks' 'Bat Guy' .

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Published: 8/31/2010 7:45 AM | Updated: 8/31/2010 7:46 AM

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The Walt Disney Co., Sanrio Co., and DC Comics sued a Chicago supplier of "bounce houses" for copyright infringement.

The bounce houses, sometimes known as "moonwalks" are inflatable enclosures commonly used at children's birthday parties and other child-centered events. Chicago Moonwalks Inc. is accused of infringing a wide range of copyrights and trademarks associated with the three companies.

Among the copyrights and trademarks the company is accused of infringing are Disney's Snow White, Cinderella and Ariel, Sanrio's Hello Kitty, and DC Comics Batman.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 26 in federal court in Chicago, the moonwalks company is selling, renting and offering children's party services that incorporate the characters belonging to Disney, Sanrio and DC Comics. Chicago Moonwalks is accused of deliberately infringing the trademarks and copyrights.

The moonwalk company's actions have confused consumers into believing an actual connection or sponsorship agreement exists between itself and the copyright holders, according to court papers.

Disney, Sanrio and DC Comics asked the court to bar the Chicago company from further infringement, and seeks destruction of all allegedly infringing products and promotional material. They also seek damages of $200,000 for each trademark infringed, as much as $150,000 for each copyright infringed, additional damages as much as $2 million, and three times the profits the defendant realized from each act of infringement.

They also requested awards of attorney fees, litigation costs, and extra damages intended to punish the defendant for its actions.

The three content-owning companies are represented by Mark V. B. Partridge and Colin T.J. O'Brien of Partridge IP Law PC of Chicago.

The case is Disney Enterprises Inc., v. Chicago Moonwalks Inc., 1:10-cv-05405, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago)