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Pooh Heirs Sue Disney Over Royaties

Heirs to Winnie the Pooh fortune have sued Disney, claiming they were cheated out of $200 million in royalties

  • Disney Sued Over Pooh Royalties - BBC News (11/13/2009)
    BBC News offers an overview of the lawsuit filed against Disney on behalf of the Slesinger Family.
  • Pooh Family Hits Up Disney for More Cash - (11/10/2009)
    On Thursday, Nov 5, Stephen Slesinger, Inc filed a notice of appeal to obtain unpaid past royalties from Disney. Disney calls the announcement a distortion stating "SSI's claims were dismissed in federal court. We've always acknowledged that some of the rights we obtained are royalty-bearing and continue to be so. I donít know what the motivation is, but a decision was made awhile ago." Further details of the ongoing dispute are outlined in the article.
  • Pooh rights belong to Disney, judge rules - (9/30/2009)
    Two remaining copyright and trademark suits are dismissed by U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper, bringing to an end a feud with the Slesinger family that dates back to 1991.
  • Widow of Winnie the Pooh promoter dies at 84 - (7/20/2007)
    Shirley Slesinger Laswell, the widow of Stephen Slesinger who passed the rights of Winnie the Pooh to Disney in exchange for a percentage of revenues has died at the age of 84. The Slesinger family has been involved in a long legal dispute with the Disney Company over Pooh royalties.
  • Settlement talks canceled in Pooh royalty lawsuit - Los Angeles Times (4/10/2007)
    The Los Angeles Times reports Disney has informed a federal magistrate it will not participate in settlement talks with the Slesinger family.
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  • Disney wins a ruling in long Pooh dispute - Orlando Sentinel (3/28/2007)
    The Orlando Sentinel reports a federal judge has dismissed several claims brought against the Disney Company by the Slesinger family regarding the merchandising of Pooh.
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  • Disney loses battle in Pooh Legal War - Los Angeles Times (2/20/2007)
    The Los Angeles Times reports a lawsuit filed to stop royalty payments to the Slesinger family is dismissed by a judge.
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  • California judge lets family keep Winnie the Pooh † - Reuters (2/16/2007)
    Reuters reports U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper granted the Slesingers' motion to dismiss the case, in which the granddaughters of Pooh author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard, sued to terminate the Slesingers' rights to the character and reassign them to Disney.
  • Co. Petitions for Disney to Give Up Pooh - (2/8/2007)
    Winnie the Pooh rights holder trying to force Disney to cancel trademark registrations.
  • Pooh Copyright Case Overview - Fortune (8/2/2006)
    Fortune offers an overview of the various lawsuits regarding Pooh royalties.
  • The Pooh Media War - (7/10/2006)
    Brief update on the continuing legal battles surrounding Winnie the Pooh.
  • Justices Refuse Winnie the Pooh Case - New York Times (6/26/2006)
    The New York Times reports the Supreme Court refused to decide on AA Milne's granddaughter's right to recapture control of the copyright associated with Winnie the Pooh.
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  • Appeal Is Denied in Pooh Case - Los Angeles Times (12/9/2005)
    The Los Angeles Times reports the Slesinger's appeal in the Pooh merchandising rights suit has been denied.
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  • Winnie the Pooh Licenser Appeals Ruling - (5/25/2005)
    The Slesinger family has appealed the decision to dismiss their lawsuit against Disney.
  • Disney Seeks to Recoup Court Costs From Pooh Royal - Los Angeles Times (3/14/2005)
    The Los Angeles Times reports Disney wants the heirs of Stephen Slesinger to pay more than $1 million to cover the court costs that were a result of the court case regarding Pooh royalties.
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  • Disney Wins as Judge Refuses New Pooh Trial - Reuters (1/28/2005)
    Reuters reports a LA judge has denied a new trial to the Slesinger family in their continuing pursuit of the rights to Winnie the Pooh.
  • Judge in Pooh Royalties Case Won't Step Down - Los Angeles Times (5/19/2004)
    The May 18th Los Angeles Times reports Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Charles McCoy says there was no bias in his ruling for Disney.
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  • Disney Foes in Pooh Case Want New Calif. Trial - Reuters (5/14/2004)
    The May 14th Reuters reports the Slesinger family is seeking a new trial regarding the merchandising rights to Winnie the Pooh.
  • Family In Pooh Dispute With Disney Says Judge Was Biased - Dow Jones (5/7/2004)
    The May 6th Dow Jones reports the Slesinger family is seeking to have Superior Court Judge Charles W. McCoy Jr. recuse himself or be disqualified from the case based upon his praise of Disney and its founder in a 2002 book.
  • Judge pooh-poohs lawsuit over Disney licensing fees - USAToday (3/30/2004)
    The March 30th USAToday reports the lawsuit against the Disney Company by the Slesinger's has been thrown out.
  • After 13 Years, Judge Dismisses Case on Pooh Bear - New York Times (3/30/2004)
    The March 30th New York Times reports the Disney Company has prevailed in their 13-year legal dispute over Winnie the Pooh royalties.
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  • Eisner Gets to Keep Pooh's Honey Pot - Business Week (3/30/2004)
    Business Week discusses the judge's surprising and scathing dismissal of a long-running royalty suit could save Disney hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Disney the Winner in a Hunny of a Lawsuit - Los Angeles Times (3/30/2004)
    The March 30th Los Angeles Times reports Disney's lengthy lawsuit regarding Pooh royalties is over with the judge accusing the Slesinger family of stealing documents.
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  • Plaintiffs vow to appeal 'Pooh' case - CBS MarketWatch (3/30/2004)
    The March 30th CBS MarketWatch discusses the recent turn in the Winnie the Pooh lawsuit.
  • Slesinger Family Statement in Response to Today's Decision - (3/30/2004)
    Statement issued by the Slesinger family regarding Pooh lawsuit.
  • Judge Doubts Pooh Evidence - Los Angeles Times (3/3/2004)
    The March 3rd Los Angeles Times highlights the ongoing court proceedings. Following Tuesday's hearings Patricia Slesinger stated, "We're going to just terminate our contract and get our rights back," Slesinger said. "Pooh doesn't need Disney as much as Disney needs Pooh."
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  • Disney's trash is sleuth's treasure - Orange County Register (2/27/2004)
    The Orange County Register reports testimony by a private investigator hired by the Slesinger Family continues as a judge prepares to rule whether or not the trial regarding Pooh royalties will proceed.
  • Disney asks judge to toss Pooh lawsuit - Orlando Sentinel (2/25/2004)
    Trial could begin in early 2005 if the long-running case is not dismissed.
  • Winnie the Pooh to go on trial next year as Disney - Agence France Presse (1/23/2004)
    The January 22nd Agence France Presse reports the ongoing lawsuit between the Slesinger family and the Disney Company over the royalties for Winnie the Pooh has been assigned a tentative date of January 10, 2005.
  • Court Rejects Disney's Appeal in Pooh Case - Los Angeles Times (1/22/2004)
    The January 22nd Los Angeles Times takes a look at the recent court decision in which the Disney Company and family of AA Milne were not permitted to recapture a portion of the US copyrights.
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  • Disney Loses Appeal in Federal 'Pooh' Copyright Case - (1/21/2004)
    The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied an appeal by Clare Milne and Disney to recapture the rights under copyright to Winnie the Pooh from the Slesinger family, originally granted in an agreement with author A. A. Milne in the 1930's.
  • Disney to Argue Pooh Legal Case in February - Reuters (12/23/2003)
    The December 22nd Reuters reports the long-running lawsuit between the Slesinger family and the Disney Company over the merchandising rights to Winnie the Pooh will return to court on February 24th.
  • Johnnie Cochran in Pooh Heirs' Corner - Los Angeles Times (12/2/2003)
    The Los Angeles Times reports Johnnie Cochran is co-counsel for the Slesinger family in their ongoing lawsuit against the Disney Company over the rights to Pooh and other characters created by AA Milne.
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  • O.J. attorney to battle Disney over Pooh - Reuters (12/1/2003)
    A December 1st Reuters article talks about the hiring of famed O.J. Simpson attorney Johnie Cochran by the Slesinger family who are suing Disney over claimed misuse of the Winnie the Pooh characters.
  • Second chance for Pooh claimant - Hollywood Reporter (10/30/2003)
    The October 30th Hollywood Reporter talks about the latest turn in the ongoing lawsuits surrounding Winnie the Pooh as the granddaughter of author AA Milne could be given another chance to reclaim the cuddly bear's copyrights.
  • Winnie The Pooh Court Ruling Favors Disney - Forbes.com (10/30/2003)
    Forbes.com reports the granddaughter of AA Milne has been given another chance to reclaim the Pooh copyright and offers a comment by Disney's vice president of corporate communications.
  • Federal judge gives Pooh author's granddaughter chance at rights - (10/29/2003)
    A federal judge has amended her May 8th decision granting Clare Milne, the granddaughter of Pooh author A.A. Milne the opportunity to appeal decision. If victorious in the appeal, Milne could regain the rights by November 2004. She has already entered into an agreement with Disney over the future rights regarding Pooh.
  • Judge Opts Out of Lengthy Pooh Case - Los Angeles Times (10/2/2003)
    The October 2nd Los Angeles Times reports LA County Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige has stepped down from the ongoing Winnie the Pooh lawsuit by requesting the case is moved to the county's Complex Litigation Program.
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  • Calif. court says libel suit vs Disney - (8/5/2003)
    Nikki Finke's lawsuit against the Disney Company will proceed. Finke is the New York Post reporter whose article about the Winnie the Pooh court case alledgedly enraged Disney executives and led to her termination from the News Corp owned paper.
  • Family Suing Disney Over Pooh Gets New Lawyers - (8/4/2003)
    The Slesinger Family has hired Elwood Lui and Rick McKnight to continue their lawsuit with the Disney Company over the Winnie-the-Pooh royalties.
  • Calif. Court Says Libel Suit Vs Disney Can Proceed - Reuters (7/30/2003)
    A July 29th Reuters article reports a libel suit against Disney in the Winnie the Pooh case can proceed.
  • Reuters: Winnie the Pooh Court Case Postponed to Sept. 24 - Reuters (3/4/2003)
    The Winnie the Pooh trial set for March 5th has been rescheduled to September 24 to allow the court to address side issues. Disney's lawyer believes there are enough issues to cause another delay of the trial in the fall.
  • Disney Moves to End Pooh Case, Charges Misconduct - American Reporter (2/3/2003)
    The February 3rd American Reporter reports Disney is seeking to have evidence admitted that shows the Slesinger attorneys and principals stole documents, defied court orders, destroyed evidence during the 11 year battle over royalties.
  • Disney Asks Court to Dismiss Pooh Lawsuit - Reuters (2/3/2003)
    The February 4th Reuters reports Disney has filed a 40 page motion seeking a dismissal in the ongoing lawsuit over Winnie the Pooh royalties.
  • Disney asks judge to dismiss Pooh royalty case - Associated Press (2/3/2003)
    The February 4th Associated Press reports Disney in their motion filed on Friday has accused Stephen Slesinger Inc. of using an ex-convict to steal documents from Disney offices and rifle through its garbage.
  • Disney Seeks Dismissal of Pooh Suit - Los Angeles Times (2/3/2003)
    The February 4th Los Angeles Times reports Disney has levelled charges against the Slesinger attorneys and principals engaged in illegal activities that jeopardize the possibility of a fair trial over Pooh royalties.
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  • Slesinger Lawyer Reacts to Disney Motion in Pooh Case - (2/3/2003)
    The lawyer for the Slesinger family, which has been in a decade-long legal battle with The Walt Disney Company over Winnie the Pooh royalties, reacted to Disney's filing today of a motion to dismiss the suit.
  • The Curse of Pooh - Fortune (1/9/2003)
    The January 6th Fortune thoroughly explores the history of Winnie the Pooh's merchandising rights lawsuit.
  • Judge Rejects Disney Appeal on 'Pooh' Document Destruction - Soury Communications, Inc. (11/22/2002)
    The California Court of Appeals yesterday rejected Disney's appeal of sanctions for destroying documents in the decade-long legal battle over Winnie-the-Pooh royalties. The ruling means that when the case goes to trial next March, the jury will be instructed to accept as fact versions of events put forth by the family that granted the Pooh rights to Disney.
  • Pooh Heiress Slams 'Dubious' Disney Rights Suit - American Reporter (11/18/2002)
    An exclusive with Patricia Slesinger, heiress to a potential billion-dollar fortune generated by royalties from Winnie the Pooh.
  • Disney Back in Court on Pooh Rights - Los Angeles Times (11/6/2002)
    The agreement between Disney and the grandchildren of Pooh's author illustrator and the impact it could have on the ongoing trial with the Slesinger family.
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  • Pooh Lawyer Dismisses Disney Sneak Attack - (11/6/2002)
    The lawyer for the family that granted rights to The Walt Disney Co. in 1961 and 1983 responded to Disney's announcement yesterday that a Milne heir will seek to reclaim the rights and make a new deal with Disney
  • Pooh Hits the Fan - Fool.com (11/5/2002)
    The November 5th Fool.com talks about the latest turn in the continuing lawsuit of Winnie the Pooh royalties.
  • Disney Says Milne Heirs To Retake Pooh Rights - American Reporter (11/5/2002)
    According to the November 5th American-Reporter, the English heirs of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shephard have stepped forward to revoke the Slesinger's claims to Pooh royalties under a new provision of 1998 copyright law.
  • New Twist in Disney Conflict Over Pooh - Los Angeles Times (11/5/2002)
    The November 5th Los Angeles Times reports the family of the A.A. Milne and E.H. Shephard have invoked copyright laws to reclaim their rights to Pooh royalties.
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  • Judge In Pooh Case Orders New Accounting - American Reporter (10/21/2002)
    The American-Reporter talks about the latest rulings in the continuing suit over Winnie the Pooh royalties.
  • Accountant to Review Disney Pooh Royalty Case - Reuters (10/21/2002)
    The October 19th Reuters reports Judge Hiroshige has appointed a new accountant to review the financial records surrounding the Winnie the Pooh case. Each side has expressed their belief the accountant's findings will support their claims.
  • The Wrong Barrel of Wildcats - American Reporter (10/2/2002)
    The latest in the continuing lawsuit between the Slesinger Family and the Disney Company over Winnie the Pooh properties.
  • Disney May Be Liable for $1 Billion Pooh Case - Reuters (8/28/2002)
    The firm representing the Slesinger Family in the Pooh case feels the Disney Company could be liable for $1 billion or more in unpaid royalties.
  • Statement By Slesinger Family in Response to Shareholders Suit Against DIS Co - Slesinger Family News Release (8/27/2002)
    "It's truly a shame that Disney let this go so far," said Mrs. Lasswell. "I never wanted to see Pooh get publicity like this, but Disney brought it on themselves. All we're asking for is what we're owed."
  • Statement By Slesinger Family in Response to Shareholders Suit Against DIS Co - (8/27/2002)
    "It's truly a shame that Disney let this go so far," said Mrs. Lasswell. "I never wanted to see Pooh get publicity like this, but Disney brought it on themselves. All we're asking for is what we're owed."
  • Disney Shareholders Sue Over Pooh - Associated Press (8/22/2002)
    A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Disney stockholders claiming the company withheld information about pending litigation over merchandise rights to Winnie the Pooh.
  • Disney Shareholders Sue Over Pooh - Associated Press (8/19/2002)
    A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Disney stockholders claiming the company withheld information about pending litigation over merchandise rights to Winnie the Pooh.
  • Big Battle for a Silly Old Bear - Los Angeles Times (7/5/2002)
    A look at the history of the ongoing Slesinger vs. Disney lawsuit about Pooh royalties.
  • Disney's Pooh Legal Battle Drags On - Reuters (6/24/2002)
    The June 23rd Reuters recaps the ongoing legal dispute between the Slesinger Estate and the Disney Company over royalties related to Pooh merchandise.
  • Pooh Hits the Fan - New York Times (6/19/2002)
    The judge in the Pooh case has thrown aside portions of the court appointed audit and ordered an audit based upon the methods proposed by Slesinger Inc and announced this report should be based on the fact that 12.5% of Disney merchandise sales since 1983 have been Pooh.
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  • Disney Loses Key Ruling in Pooh Case - American Reporter (6/19/2002)
    An examination of the recent decision by Judge Hiroshige putting aside some portions of an auditor's report and established a rate that could yield as much as $200 million for the Slesinger estate.
  • Disney Loses Round in Pooh Royalty Feud - Los Angeles Times (6/19/2002)
    Judge Hiroshige in a tentative ruling has thrown aside an auditor's report that Disney only owes the Slesinger family $11,000 in royalties stemming from a 1983 licensing agreement.
  • LATimes: Disney Warns of Pooh Lawsuit Risk - Los Angeles Times (5/23/2002)
    Disney in their quarterly filing with SEC stated the Pooh case if not found in their favor could cost them several hundred million dollars and will adversely impact future profits based on Pooh.
  • Pooh v. Mickey is a Battle Royale - American Reporter (5/23/2002)
    Commentary highlights the ongoing case between the Slesingers and the Disney Company over the licensing agreement for Winnie the Pooh and friends.
  • Journo Sues Disney, N.Y. Post - Variety (4/15/2002)
    Reporter Nikki Finke has filed a lawsuit against News Corp.'s New York Post and Walt Disney Co.,
  • Finke Lawsuit Claims Disney in Enron-Like Cover Up - Drudge Report (4/15/2002)
    Exclusive details behind reporter Nikki Finke's lawsuit recently filed against the Disney Company.
  • JackBusJrn: Disney can't bear to lose Pooh and Mickey - Jacksonville Business Journal (2/11/2002)
    A February 8th Jacksonville Business Journal takes a look at ongoing dispute between Disney and the heirs of Winnie the Pooh.
  • Deep Pooh-Pooh - New York Post (1/29/2002)
    The Disney Company could lose as much as 25% of their revenue if the Slesinger family wins their suit over Pooh royalties.
  • A Mouse in the Honey Jar - Los Angeles Times (1/24/2002)
    An editorial view of the continuing lawsuit over Winnie the Pooh royalties.
  • Disney fined $90,000 for destroying documents in royalties case - Orange County (1/22/2002)
    The Disney Company will be fined $90,000 for destroying documents relating to the Winnie the Pooh royalty case and the jury will be told items were destroyed.
  • Disney knew Pooh rights were complex - Orlando Sentinel (1/22/2002)
    1967 memo in which Roy O Disney shares his concerns over the tangled Disney ownership issues in Winnie the Pooh.
  • Roy Disney Foresaw Pooh Rights Dispute - Los Angeles Times (1/22/2002)
    1967 memo in which Roy O Disney shares his concerns over the tangled Disney ownership issues in Winnie the Pooh.
  • Unsealed Documents May Hurt Disney In Pooh Case - Wall Street Journal (1/22/2002)
    A look at the continuing lawsuit over the royalties owed to the Slesinger family by Disney for Pooh.
  • Disney Paid $750,00 to Pooh Owners in Earlier Dispute - American Reporter (1/19/2002)
    An examination of how the case between the Slesingers and Disney evolved over the years beginning in the 1960s.
  • Court Rulings Go Against Disney in Pooh Suit - Los Angeles Times (1/18/2002)
    A closer look at the continuing legal battles between Disney and the Slesinger heirs over Pooh royalties as volumes of court documents from the lengthy battle are unsealed.
  • Public Finally Gets a Peek at Pooh v. Mickey - American Reporter (1/18/2002)
    The contents of the sealed documents in the Winnie the Pooh are examined by reporters as they are released by the court.
  • Mouse rues court's denial of Pooh appeal - Variety (1/14/2002)
    An update on the case between the individuals who hold the rights to AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh and the Disney Company.
  • No Fire, Lots of Smoke From Pooh Corner - American Reporter (1/11/2002)
    A discussion of the possibility that contract with Disney for the rights to Winnie the Pooh could be terminated.
  • No Way Out of Hundred Mile Wood For Pooh Owners, Disney Says - American Reporter (1/10/2002)
    The Winnie the Pooh case has been going on in secret for nearly 10 years and reportedly the Slesinger family is seeking to terminate the contract with Disney.
  • Disney Rebuffed in Appeal of Tough Sanctions - American Reporter (1/5/2002)
    Disney lost its appeal to have the sanctions levied against them for destroying documents in the Winnie the Pooh Case tossed out.
  • Disney Petition Reveals Crippling Sanctions - American Reporter (1/4/2002)
    Verbatim excerpt of the trial court's order against Disney in the Winnie the Pooh case
  • LATimes: Pooh Case Records to Be Opened - Los Angeles Times (12/14/2001)
    The Disney Company has until January 11th to choose select documents that are considered to reveal trade secrets and may remain sealed, in the court case surrounding Pooh royalties.
  • Judge To Unseal Huge File In Pooh Case - American Reporter (12/12/2001)
    Tens of thousands of documents in the long-running case between Walt Disney Co. against heirs to the U.S. rights to Winnie the Pooh have been ordered unsealed.
  • Legal Titans Clash Over Pooh's Honey - American Reporter (10/15/2001)
    A brief description of the court struggle underway over royalty payments for Winnie the Pooh.
  • LATimes: Battle Over Pooh's Money Pot - Los Angeles Times (8/15/2001)
    The Slesinger family is suing the Disney Company claiming Disney owes them millions of dollars from the sale of Winnie the Pooh products.
  • LATimes: Disney Ordered to Stop Destroying Documents - Los Angeles Times (5/16/2001)
    The Disney Company has been ordered by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to stop destroying documents related to the licensing of Winnie the Pooh and his friends.
  • FoxNews: Disney Loses Pooh Point in Royalties Case - Fox News (6/21/2000)
    The Disney Company owes monetary sanctions for willfully destroying evidence in a Pooh royalties dispute.

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