Well, that’s one lawsuit that’s been put on ice. Just under 2 months after The Walt Disney Company failed for the second time to get Kelly Wilson’s copyright action over Frozen tossed out of federal court, the two sides have reached a deal. “The Court was advised on June 10, 2015 that the parties have resolved this case,” wrote U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in an order filed on Wednesday. “Therefore, it is ORDERED that this case is DISMISSED without prejudice” (read it here).
The sealed-up-tight confidential settlement stops a planned October trial over the $1.2 billion 2013 blockbuster. Wilson filed her lawsuit in March of that year claiming that there were distinct similarities between her short film The Snowman and a trailer for the Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck- directed pic. Looking at the carrot-nosed snowman of both flicks and various narrative devices, the federal judge agreed. “The sequence of events in both works, from start to finish, is too parallel to conclude that no reasonable juror could find the works substantially similar,” wrote Judge Chhabria last July when he rejected the House of Mouse’s first attempt to have the suit dismissed. Taking a slightly different approach toward the festival screened and online short, Disney struck out again this April – which is probably the point at which the checkbook came out to make this all go away as they got ready to officially give the obvious thumbs-up to a Frozen sequel.
And now there’s no legal chill in the air.
Paul Gignac and Mischa Barteau of Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis LLP plus J.A. Ted Baer represented the plaintiff. Disney’s lawyers were Kelly Klaus, Erin Cox and Jordan D. Segall of Munger Tolle & Olsen.