The trademark story was first reported Tuesday by Fronteras, a coalition of public radio stations based in Phoenix.
By the end of the day, Disney had issued a statement saying that it had withdrawn the application and that the company’s intent was only to protect the name and merchandising rights for a coming Dia de Los Muertos movie from Disney-Pixar.
Late Tuesday, Fronteras said Disney officials had issued a statement saying, “As we have previously announced, Disney-Pixar is developing an animated feature inspired by the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. Disney’s trademark filing was intended to protect any potential title for our film and related activities. It has since been determined that the title of the film will change, and therefore we are withdrawing our trademark filing.”
If Disney Enterprises, the merchandising arm of the company, had succeeded with its trademark application, it would not necessarily have owned the name, trademark attorneys say. But they could have had exclusive rights to sell potato chips, snow globes or perfumes branded with that phrase.
There’s a great news story at AZCentral.com with more details titled Under Fire, Disney Pulls Bid to Trademark ‘Dia de los Muertos’.