Two Disney subsidiaries have sued three Chinese companies for infringement of intellectual property rights and unfair competition.
Disney Enterprises Inc. and Pixar, holders of the copyrights of animated comedies "Cars" and "Cars 2" as well as the character images, sued G-Point in Beijing, PPTV in Shanghai and Bluemtv in Xiamen of east China's Fujian province, after they found images and posters of the animated movie "The Autobots" resembling those of "Cars" and "Cars 2".
"The Autobots," screened last July, was produced by Bluemtv, released by G-Point and shown on the website of PPTV.
The case was heard in Shanghai Pudong New District People's Court on Tuesday.
At the court, attorneys for the plaintiffs said that images of the main characters in "The Autobots" -- "K1" and "K2" -- plagiarized the characters "Lightening McQueen" and "Francesco Bernoulli" in "Cars" and "Cars 2".
They also said the Chinese name of the movie bore a high resemblance to the Disney and Pixar movies.
The plaintiffs asked for immediate stop to the infringement, and compensation of 4 million yuan ($607,000) to cover the economic losses and the lawsuit expense.
Lawyers for the defendants replied that images of "K1" and "K2" were created independently, based on the appearance of real automobiles. They also argued they had emphasized that "The Autobots" was a domestic movie, so consumers would not be confused by the name. In addition, the film was not successful and filmmakers did not profit.
A verdict of the case will be announced later.