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Chinese firms reportedly ordered to pay Disney, Pixar $194,000 for copying ‘Cars’

Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade Finale


(Reuters) — A Shanghai court ordered two Chinese firms to pay Walt Disney Co and Pixar more than 1.35 million yuan ($194,440) compensation for copying parts of their hit movies “Cars” and “Cars 2”, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

The ruling is the latest in a slew of intellectual property wins for large foreign firms, who have complained about widespread copyright infringement in China.

Disney and Pixar took the Chinese firms to court saying the characters, titles and posters from local animation “The Autobots” were substantially similar to those from “Cars” and “Cars 2”.

The court agreed that the Autobots characters K1 and K2 were similar to Disney and Pixar’s animated cars Lightning McQueen and Francesco Bernoulli, Xinhua said.

The court ordered infringement activity to stop immediately, and said Disney and Pixar should receive 1 million yuan to cover economic losses, as well as 350,000 yuan for legal expenses.

Disney is making a major push into China with the recent opening of a $5.5 billion theme park in Shanghai, its first on the mainland. Its animated movies including “Zootopia” and “Big Hero 6” have been big box office hits there.

Disney, Pixar and the two Chinese firms were not immediately available for comment.

Xinhua said the total order covered more then 1.35 million yuan, but did not list any other payments.

German carmaker BMW and basketball star Michael Jordan have both won intellectual property cases in China this year.

(Reporting by Engen Tham)

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