Local firm wins rabbit character suit
By Kim Bo-eun
A domestic firm that created a cartoon rabbit resembling the internationally renowned “Miffy” won in a suit filed by the Dutch company that owns the copyright of the popular character.
The Seoul Central District Court said Friday it rejected the injunction filed by Mercis B.V., the copyright holder of “Miffy” against Locus, a domestic company that commercialized a similar-looking rabbit character “Booto.”
“Miffy and Booto have slight differences when looking at the details but these create a significant difference in the overall look,” said the presiding judge. “The two characters must be regarded as separate creative images.”
Although there are some similarities between the two characters, since both are rabbits, it is unavoidable for the characters not to have certain similarities based on the physical characteristics of the animal, the judge said.
“Because the characters are very much simplified images, there are limits to creating extremely diversified images using the same animal,” the judge added.
“Booto” stands for shy rabbit in Korean.