The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney, or Disney enterprises, is a global entertainment and media giant headquartered in Burbank, California.
Disney was founded in 1923 by brothers Walt and Roy O. Disney as the ”Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio” It has operated under several other names, including ”The Walt Disney Studio” and ”Walt Disney Productions” Before finally changing its name to The Walt Disney Company in 1986.
Disney was a pioneer in the animation business and was responsible for many early animations that revolutionized the industry. Top names include Bambi, Mickey Mouse, Snow White, and the seven dwarfs, Pinocchio and Dumbo. Snow White and the seven dwarfs is the oldest and longest animated feature film ever released by Disney. Upon its initial release, Snow White earned $8 million and was at one point the highest-grossing film with sound.
After establishing themselves as a leader in the industry, Disney enterprises diversified into live-action production, theme parks, and television. Disneyland is a multi-million dollar success.
The company is known for its film studios, including Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney animation studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th-century studio, and more.
Disney’s other primary business operations include television, broadcasting, streaming media, consumer products, publishing, and international operations.
Disney owns and operates ABC broadcast networks, including ESPN, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, National Geographic, Direct-to-consumer streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, Hotstar, and Star+. They also own 14 Disney theme parks, plus resort hotels and cruise lines worldwide.
Disney began as a creative endeavor between just two brothers and would retain some family involvement for decades, with Roy O Disney taking a leading role after Walt’s death in 1966. Roy O Disney would go on to pass away in 1971. however, the last member of the Disney family to be actively involved in the business was Roy E Disney, Walt Disney’s nephew, who had held a variety of roles at Disney, including Chairman, Vice-chairman, and a non-voting directorship towards the end of his life. In 2009, Roy E Disney passed away, owning around a 1% stake in Disney stock. From 2005, the executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company was Robert Iger. Iger was ABC’s president until its acquisition by Disney.
In 2005 Iger succeeded Michael Eisner as CEO. During his time as CEO, Iger broadened Disney’s intellectual property portfolio and stepped up its presence in international markets, including overseeing the acquisitions of Pixar in 2006 and Marvel Entertainment in 2009. Under Iger’s leadership, Disney’s market capitalization increased from $48 billion to $257 billion.
In 2020, Bob Chapek was named his successor for the CEO position. Iger served as chairman until the end of 2021 and was replaced by Susan Arnold.
Disney has continued to grow from strength to strength and remains one of the biggest names in media.
Famous Disney Trademarks
Disney has kept its place as a multi-billion dollar corporation because of its aggressive trademarking of its brand names, Disney characters, and other intellectual property. Trademarking your intellectual property guarantees that you have exclusive rights to it for use in the commercial sphere. Let’s look at a few of the famous Disney trademarks registered with the USPTO.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is a series of fantasy swashbuckler films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and based on Walt Disney’s theme park attraction of the same name. The film series serves as a significant component of the eponymous media franchise and comprises:
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
The trademark registration for ”Pirates of the Caribbean” dates back to 2006 and covers the following categories.
- Action skill games, action figures, accessories such as board games, toy building blocks, collectible toy figures, dolls and accessories, jigsaw puzzles.
- Clothing includes baseball caps, belts, headwear, rainwear, t-shirts.
- Art, posters, picture books, writing implements, pens, prints, calendars, stationery, paper napkins, trading cards.
- Pre-recorded discs featuring music or stories, cell phone covers, computer game software, digital games, video discs, DVD players.
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland was originally published in 1865 by Lewis Carroll; later, Walt Disney World would acquire the creative rights to the story and create an animated movie based on the book in 1951. Disney owns the trademark rights to Alice in Wonderland, and the registration covers the following categories:
- Toys, games, action figures, Christmas tree decorations, ornaments, Party favors, snow globes, stuffed toys.
- Jewelry, watches, and accessories.
- Bags including backpacks, luggage, textile shopping bags.
- Homeware, bowls, cookie cutters, cups, dishes, lunch boxes, mugs, plates, sports bottles, plastic cups, cookie jars, and beverageware.
- Bath towels, cloths, blanket throws, pillowcases, and other domestic linens.
- Clothing includes beachwear, dresses, Halloween costumes, infant wear, polo shirts, robes, sweatshirts, swimsuits, t-shirts, and aprons.
- Consumer electronics, headphones, sunglasses.
Buena Vista Logo
Buena Vista is a brand that is occasionally used for divisions and subsidiaries of Disney. It’s most known for its blue castle logo. Though it’s often not used now, the logo was used from 1951 to 2009 and is still seen today.
Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film written and directed by Andrew Stanton, released by Walt Disney Pictures in 2003. The trademark for finding Nemo dates back to 2003 and covers the following categories:
- Pre-recorded digital cassettes, video, and media.
- Homeware such as bath linen, bed covers, sheets, and bedspreads.
- Online entertainment services.
- Toys, accessories, and games.
Princess Jasmine is a fictional character from Disney’s 1992 film, Aladdin. Disney’s trademark dates back to 2009 and covers the following:
- Pre-recorded audio discs, compact discs, stories, DVDs, motion picture films, television shows, musical recordings.
- Toys, action figures, accessories, games, bath toys, bean bags.
- Art prints, ballpoint pens, calendars, Christmas cards, color pencils, decals, drawing rulers.
The Jungle Book
The jungle book began as a collection of stories in 1894 penned by Rudyard Kipling. Disney acquired the intellectual property rights of the jungle book. Disney most recently filed the trademark application in 2011.
The trademark covers the following areas:
- Puzzles, collectibles, toy figurines.
- Clothing, costumes, role-playing clothing.
- Activity books, coloring books, crayons, art books, print books.
- Digital media, audio and visual content including motion picture films, entertainment news, and information via communication and computer networks.
- Backpacks, bags, coin purses.
- Home linens, bedding, bath towels, bath mats, curtains, sofa throws.
- Jewelry and accessories.
- Beveragewear, cups, plates, kitchenware.
Handy Manny is an animated children’s television show shown on the Disney Junior channel. The trademark for handy manny was filed in 2010 and included the following categories:
- Audiobooks, animated entertainment, music, videos, DVDs.
- Entertainment services like the ongoing series of children’s television programs.
- Books, coloring books, pencils, and stationery.
- Action toys, figurines, games and accessories, toy sets (toy trucks and toy carpenter tools).
Read more on the history of the Disney logo and the Disney.com trademark
Intellectual property protection is crucial to your business’s survival. If you don’t register your business’s distinctive features, you won’t have any legal recourse if you’re a victim of what could otherwise be considered trademark infringement. Disney Enterprises Inc clearly understands the importance of protecting themselves against copyright infringement, as they have over 2,000 registered trademarks with the trademark office.