Attorneys for The Walt Disney Company responded yesterday to the lawsuit* filed in March by Jake Mandeville-Anthony, who claims that Pixar stole the idea for the Cars franchise from him.
On Wednesday the presiding judge in the case rejected Disney’s application for an extension of their time to respond, which would have given them until July 8 to answer the complaint.
In the response, Disney denies “each and every one of Plaintiff’s legal claims concerning purported copyright infringement and substantial similarity of the parties’ respective works.”
Many of the arguments by defense attorneys Sandy Litvack and David Singer expose the madcap nature of Mandeville-Anthony’s case.
Incredibly, the unknown screenwriter only registered his works with the U.S. Copyright Office in September 2010, about 18 years after he says he created them, and six months before he filed suit.
There is also no record that Disney or Pixar ever received copies of Mandeville-Anthony’s works beginning in 1992, as he alleges in his complaint.
A hearing on Mandeville-Anthony's motion to obtain a pre-release copy of Cars 2 remains scheduled for June 6. Disney has offered to screen the film immediately for him and his attorneys at its Burbank, CA studios, subject to non-disclosure agreements.
After Cars 2 is released, Disney intends to request that the lawsuit be dismissed “with prejudice”, which would prevent it from being refiled. Failing this and other legal avenues, the case will go to a California jury.
*Jake Mandeville-Anthony v. The Walt Disney Company, et al. CV 11-2137-VBF(JEMx).