‘Evil Knievel’ copycat in Toy Story 4 causing IP issues for Disney

Disney and Pixar has received a court claim from the son of 1970s stuntman Evel Knievel over the character Duke Caboom in their feature film Toy Story 4.

The character Duke Caboom is a daredevil character who performs stunts on a motorbike and is described by Disney-owned Pixar as a “1970s toy based on Canada’s greatest daredevil and stuntman” who “has confidence and swagger” but “has never been able to do the stunts as advertised by his own toy commercial”. Knievel is of course famed for his motorbike stunts in the 1960’s and 1970’s, including a jump over 13 buses at London’s Wembley Stadium and a jump over the Caesars Palace fountain in Las Vegas.

Son Kelly has claimed that the two companies did not seek permission to use his father’s likeness and therefore made financial gain without consent. The claim is for $300,000.00 in damages as well as legal costs relating to charges of false endorsement and unjust enrichment.

This claim has been denied by Disney who had stated they will vigorously defend any claim moving forward.

It will be interesting to see if this claim takes flight or crashes at the first hurdle. Keep your eyes on the reading room for more updates.

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