Walker Digital, who stepped into the legal spotlight earlier this year when it went to sue over 100 technology companies for patent infringements, is at it again. This time, they have their sights set on The Walt Disney Company, specifically Disney Photo Imaging, the business unit behind the Disney PhotoPass service at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
Even if I were to understand half of this, I don’t think I understand any of this, thus it’s right up my alley. Some underwriters at Lloyds of London recently filed a claim against Thomas Wright of Loganville, Georgia, owner of Paintball Sports Promotions and Disney Parks and Resorts, specifically Walt Disney World, in what appears to be the next step in an already complicated legal mess.
Possibly exchanging fradulent Disney Pins for cigarettes, the Associated Press is reporting that Robert Smyrak, 52, of Anaheim, California and Larry Allred , 57, of Walnut, California were charged yesterday in Orange County for importing counterfeit goods in the form of Disney pins.
According to prosecutors, the two intended to sell approximately $2 Million dollars worth of fake Disney pins that they had commissioned to be made in China, then selling the fraudulent goods as genuine pins on eBay. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers learned of the scheme back in February when they intercepted a package addressed to Smyrak containing more than 150 pounds of pins.
Kiddieland Toys Limited has issued a voluntary recall in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission the Disney Princess Plastic Racing Trike. The toy can pose a laceration hazard if the child falls on the handlebar decoration. Three reports of facial lacerations have been reported.
The item was manufactured in China and sold at Target, JCPenney, Meijer and H.E.B. stores nationwide and on the Web at www.target.com from January 2009 through April 2011 for about $50. Consumers are advised to immediately take the toy away from children and contact the manufacturer for a replacement handlebar with an enclosed rotating display. For additional information, contact Kiddieland at (800) 430-5307 anytime, or visit the firm’s website at www.kiddieland.com.hk or view the full product recall notice here.
Bloomberg is reporting that ESPN has decided to remove all advertisements and poker coverage events from its networks ‘pending further review’ in response to indictments against several online gambling websites, many of whom sponsor major poker events.
Although ESPN is apparently not involved in the investigation in any way, they have decided to distance themselves from the accused which includes sites such as Pokerstars.com, Fulltiltpoker.com, Absolutepoker.com, Ultimatebet.com and UB.com, all of which have been sized by the U.S. Government.
In total, 76 bank accounts have been frozen, preventing players from accessing any money they may have invested in the sites.
According to the law firm representing Celador International, the creators of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?,’ Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the United States District Court for the Central District of California has awarded $50 million in prejudgment interest to Celador International, Ltd. in addition to the already awarded damages of $269,431,798 awarded to Celador on July 7, 2010 bringing the judgment against Disney to a total of $319,431,798 pending the reward of any additional litigation costs.
Burlington Coat Factory has issued a recall in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for several models of children’s hooded jackets and sweatshirts with draw strings. Among the items being voluntarily recalled is a Disney-branded Winnie the Pooh hooded jacket in toddler sizes. The hooded jackets and sweatshirts have drawstrings through the hood and/or waist which can pose a strangulation or entrapment hazard to children. No injuries or deaths have been reported as a result.
WFTS ABC in Tampa is reporting that 22 year old Timothy Wayne Hammerstone of Polk County, a former cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, has been arrested on 16 counts of possession of child pornography. According to the story, Hammerstone was in correspondence with two ten year old boys via Microsoft Xbox Live and had convinced one of them to send him nude photos in exchange for points to be used on the Xbox marketplace (as per the report from the Orlando Sentinel). While both outlets report that police found sixteen images of child pornography on a USB flash drive, it is unclear how many of those photos are of the direct victim. As of the WFTS report, Hammerstone was sitting in Polk County jail on a $80,000 bond.
The Associated Press is reporting that an investigation from the United States Department of Labor resulted in the decision that Walt Disney World owes 69 of its inventory control cast members in the food and beverage department $433,000 in back wages.
The report charges that the theme park resort violated the Fair Labor Standards Act because managers in the department failed to adhere to internal company policies regarding off-the-clock work. The time involved work performed by the cast members not only before and after scheduled work shift hours, but during meal times and from home as well.
TMZ is reporting that designer Arman Mkrtchyan has filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court against The Walt Disney Company on the grounds that his work was used in Walt Disney Studios’ Alice in Wonderland without any compensation. Claiming that the Red Queen’s throne is a virtual clone of his own piece (and that he in fact had designed a matching set, representing each suit), Mkrtchyan is suing Disney for a ‘designer’s fee’ in the amount of $50,000.
If the case does go to trial, don’t anticipate it to be scheduled on the same day the Knave of Hearts is finally brought to justice for stealing tarts.