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Luxo sues Disney over hopping desk-lamp character

September 4, 2009 |  4:26 pm

Luxo-jr01[1] "Luxo Jr.," the squeaky desk-lamp character created by John Lasseter more than two decades ago, is in the spotlight again -- this time under the glare of a transatlantic lawsuit.

The hopping swivel lamp has been a corporate mascot for Pixar Animation Studios since its founder created the character in 1986 for a short computer-animated movie that was nominated for an Academy Award. Lasseter was said to have based the character on his own Luxo lamp.

But Norwegian lamp maker Luxo isn't happy with how Pixar and its parent company, Walt Disney Co., are using its name.

Luxo filed a lawsuit yesterday in New York federal court against Pixar and Disney accusing the companies of infringing on its copyright by selling a limited-edition "Luxo Jr." lamp packaged with a Blu-ray version of the Disney-Pixar "Up." The complaint also cites a new attraction at Walt Disney World that is a six-foot animatronic version of the lamp.

Oslo-based Luxo said in the complaint that the Luxo name hadn't been used on Pixar and Disney products until now and that sale of the Pixar lamps would "cause devastating damage to Luxo and dilute the goodwill which Luxo has built up." The company, in business since 1939, says more than 25 million of the lamps have been sold.

A spokesman for Disney said the company had not seen the complaint and could not comment.

Photo: Father-and-son lamps come to life in the short animated film "Luxo Jr."  Credit: Pixar Animation Studios

-- Richard Verrier

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