Luxo sues Pixar/Disney

Poetic justice – or inevitable? The Los Angeles Times reports that the Norwegian lamp maker is suing over non contractual uses of its lamp design in merchandising and at Disney World.

UPDATE: Fellow Brewer Amid wrote about the relationship between Luxo and Pixar in his recent book The Art of Pixar Short Films. The following excerpt from the book explains that Pixar was granted permission to use the Luxo name, so the issue appears to stem from Pixar’s merchandising of the lamps:

The success of Luxo Jr. caused one unanticipated problem: Pixar had used the name of a trademarked porduct without permission. This misstep was hastily corected by Ralph Guggenheim, a veteran of NYIT and Lucasfilm, for which he headed the development of Lucas’s EditDroid editing system. Guggenheim, who joined Pixar’s animation group around the time Luxo Jr. premiered at SIGGRAPH, immediately contacted Jac Jacobsen Industries to clear the use of the name. Computer animation was so new that the Luxo representatives could not even understand what Pixar had done. “They thought we had taken two of their lamps and animated them by hand in stop motion,” said Guggenheim. The notion of computer animation was still unfathomable for most of the public. Ultimately, Pixar and Luxo reached an agreement in which Luxo could screen the film at its own trade shows and Pixar could distribute the film without restraint.