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Disney Unit Must Pay Over Magazine Idea

May 06, 1997|Associated Press

Walt Disney Co.'s magazine publishing division must pay $4.5 million for allegedly stealing a former executive's idea for a children's magazine, a jury decided.

The Superior Court panel found that Linda De Rogatis created the idea for Disney's Big Times magazine aimed at kids.

"The verdict sends the message that no matter how large and important you may be, if you use another person's idea, you have to compensate them for it," said attorney Glen Kulik, who represented De Rogatis.

Disney lawyers refused to comment on Friday's decision.

De Rogatis approached executives at Disney's publishing arm in August 1993 and worked with them on her idea until May 1994, when John Skipper, Disney vice president, said the company decided not to publish the magazine.

But a month later, Disney announced the creation and launch of Big Times, and De Rogatis filed suit.

Skipper testified it was a coincidence and said the magazine was independently created.

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