Evel Knievel’s son loses Disney Duke Caboom brand deal


LAS VEGAS (AP) – A judge has dismissed a trademark infringement action filed by Evel Knievel’s son a year ago against Walt Disney Co. and the Pixar film company over a daredevil character from ” Toy Story 4 ”named Duke Caboom.

“We are obviously disappointed,” Kelly Knievel said in an email Monday. “We are reviewing our options” at the 9th San Francisco Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan in Las Vegas dismissed the case against Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on September 23.

The judge wrote that while the Caboom character “was reminiscent of” Knievel, “Disney’s use of the likeness of Evel Knievel contains significant transformative elements” and is not a literal portrayal.

An email from The Walt Disney Co. spokesperson Jeffrey R. Epstein said he was traveling and was not available for immediate comment.

Las Vegas-based K and K promotions manager Kelly Knievel called Caboom a “direct imitation of the legend and historical significance” of Knievel’s father, the famous stunt motorcyclist who died in 2007 at age 69. in Florida. lung disease.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2020, accused Disney and Pixar of intentionally modeling the character of “Toy Story 4” on Knievel, whose stunts included motorcycle jumps in 1967 over the fountain at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas – y including a spectacular near-fatal crash – and in 1975 on a row of buses at Wembley Stadium in London.

Evel Knievel has been seriously injured on several occasions during more than 75 motorcycle jumps. He survived a 1974 rocket strike over Snake River Canyon in Idaho that ended with the machine parachuting onto the riverbank below.

The lawsuit noted that an Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle toy released in 1973 featured a Knievel action figure wearing a white helmet and jumpsuit with red, white and blue embellishments on a motorcycle that could be propelled with a winding device.

The court record showed the character in the film and his “Duke Caboom Stunt Cycle”, described by Disney Pixar as a 1970s daredevil based on “Canada’s Greatest Stuntman,” wearing a white jumpsuit and a helmet with Canadian insignia.

The judge said the character in the film had a different name and clothing, was Canadian rather than American, and wore a different mustache and hair color and style than Knievel.

“Duke Caboom is not a carbon copy of Evel Knievel minus a few details,” Mahan wrote. “The Duke Caboom action figure is a representation of Disney’s expression in the film, not an attempt to emulate Evel Knievel.”

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