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Vermont Teddy Bear Co. Sues Disney

May 28, 1997|(Associated Press)

Vermont Teddy Bear Co. is suing Walt Disney Co. for copyright infringement, alleging the entertainment giant purloined its trademark mail-order "Bear-Gram" ideas and logo. Vermont Teddy Bear asked the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., for an injunction to stop Burbank-based Disney from selling its "Pooh-Grams" line of bears and also requested unspecified damages. "They have not only copied the trademark and the logo, but they have copied virtually every aspect of our 'Bear-Gram' format, from the way the product is personalized to the way the product is delivered, and even the way it's advertised," said Liz Robert, Vermont Teddy Bear's chief financial officer. Executives at Disney declined to comment. Vermont Teddy Bear, which is based in Shelburne, Vt., ships a quarter of a million plush bears a year to markets around the world. The company, which was founded in 1983, does 90% of its business in bears; the remaining 10% is in related products such as T-shirts, mugs and other items. . . . Separately, U.S. Office Products Co. said it bought Disney Enterprises Inc.'s Childcraft Education Corp. for $14.6 million in cash to expand its share of the educational products market. Disney Enterprises includes the activities of Disney prior to its takeover last year of Capital Cities/ABC Inc.

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