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Music festival takes on Disney

Published 08/01/2015

George Clooney stars in Disney's futuristic film, Tomorrowland
George Clooney stars in Disney's futuristic film, Tomorrowland

Disney's new film Tomorrowland is being forced to change its title in several countries because of a music festival with the same name.

The movie, which stars George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, will not be allowed to be released under that title in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium because the name has been registered as a trademark in those countries since the Belgian electronic dance event launched in 2005.

The new name for the film, which is based on one of the outer space and futuristic lands in Walt Disney theme parks, has yet to be confirmed.

Trademark attorney Sharon Daboul said: "Trademark rights are territorial, which means that rights are limited to the country or territory in which the trademark has been applied for and registered.

"Disney has a trademark registration in the USA for the term Tomorrowland, dating back to 1970. With this registration, it was successfully able to prevent the music festival from calling itself Tomorrowland when it launched in the USA. However, the music festival has the rights to the term in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and has prevented Disney from using the name in these countries."

She added: "Rebranding is a costly and inconvenient exercise, and there may be a commercial resolution to this conflict whereby both parties agree to co-exist with each other. Is there room for a Tomorrowland Disney film and a Tomorrowland music festival to exist together in the same market? This is a question for the parties to consider."

The movie, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, will be released in the UK on May 22.

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