Court Indeed a Mickey Mouse Operation

Cartoon characters summoned in Italy counterfeiting case
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2007 9:10 PM CST
The costume of Tweety Bird greets the visitors during the presentation of the new Warner Bros. theme park to the press in San Martin de la Vega, 25 km, 15 miles, from Madrid, Spain, in this Friday, April...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A man is on trial in Italy for counterfeiting Disney and Warner Bros. merchandise, and a surprising set of witnesses has been summoned: Tweety, Mickey Mouse, and Donald and Daisy Duck. Prosecutors in Naples blamed a clerical error for the summons, in which the Italian iterations of the cartoon characters—Titti, Paperino, Paperina and Topolino—were called to testify, the AP reports.

Clerks were supposed to write only the names of the characters' legal representatives, but they ended up including the animated animals, too. "Unfortunately they cannot show up, as they are residents of Disneyland," a Disney exec said. Is the legal jeopardy over? "Let's hope the characters will not be prosecuted for failing to appear," Disney's lawyer said.