Joel Thomas Zimmerman (born January 5, 1981), better known by his stage name deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse"), is a Canadian progressive-house record producer and DJ from Toronto, Ontario.

His song "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" was used for a Re-Micks music video. Unlike other songs used, his was without permission from him or his record label because, at the time, he struggled with Disney regarding his "mau5head" logo.

Disney trademark dispute

In 2012 deadmau5 expressed with Rolling Stone in an interview his awareness of possible similarities between his mau5head logo and that of Mickey Mouse. He said "someone at the Disney patent office fell asleep on that one."[1] Despite his acknowledgement, he denied any plaigarism Disney would later accuse him of.

In March 2014, it was reported that The Walt Disney Company had filed a request with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to investigate Zimmerman's application to register the mau5head emblem as a trademark, noting its resemblance to the figure of Mickey Mouse.[2][3] Disney officially filed its opposition in September 2014, arguing that the mark is likely to cause confusion because it is "nearly identical in appearance, connotation, and overall commercial impression" to Disney's trademarked iconography of Mickey Mouse. deadmau5, however, boldly posted on his Twitter page, "Disney thinks you might confuse an established electronic musician/performer with a cartoon mouse. That's how stupid they think you are."[1] Zimmerman also believed that he had been targeted by Disney due to their attempts to "cash in" on the EDM market, specifically alluding to Dconstructed—a recently released compilation album containing remixes of music from Disney properties by major electronic musicians such as Armin van Buuren, Avicii and Kaskade.[4]

According to deadmau5 on Twitter in September 4, 2014, in retaliation to this abusive statement, Disney had used "Ghosts 'n' Stuff" in the Re-Micks video without his or his labels' permission, and posted pictures showing a takedown notice that had been sent to Disney by his lawyers. The letter also contained a trademark infringement accusation, arguing that the use of deadmau5's name in material regarding the video falsely implied his endorsement of it. Disney argued that it had properly licensed the song, and that there was "no merit to [his] tatement".[4][5]

In an October 2014 USPTO filing, Zimmerman argued that Disney has attempted to co-exist with him in goodwill. Zimmerman presented evidence that Disney had been in contact with him regarding potential collaborative projects, including an offer to participate in a "re-imagining" of Fantasia as a live concert tour for the film's 75th anniversary.[6]

In June 2015, Zimmerman's attorney stated that he and Disney had "amicably resolved their dispute."[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Deadmau5 v Disney: mouse ear logo sparks legal dispute", The Guardian (4 September 2014). Retrieved on September 5, 2014. 
  2. "Is a Mickey Mouse v. Deadmau5 Trademark Battle Brewing?", The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on September 5, 2014. 
  3. "Disney takes on DJ deadmau5 over mouse-ears garb". Retrieved on June 30, 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Deadmau5 Sends Cease and Desist to Disney Over 'Infringing Video'", Rolling Stone (September 5, 2014). Retrieved on September 6, 2014. 
  5. "Deadmau5 drops some "complete pwnage" on Disney in legal war". Retrieved on September 5, 2014.
  6. "Deadmau5 Says Archenemy Disney Wanted His Help on 'Fantasia' Anniversary". Retrieved on October 15, 2014.
  7. "Deadmau5, Disney Settle Dispute Over "Mouse Head" Logo". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on June 22, 2015.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Deadmau5. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.