Court Rejects Disney’s Appeal in Pooh Case

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Walt Disney Co. and the granddaughter of Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne have lost their effort to recapture some of the U.S. copyrights that Milne transferred to a New York literary agent, Stephen Slesinger, in the early 1930s.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 15 declined to hear an appeal filed last year by lawyers for Clare Milne, the author’s granddaughter.

The Burbank entertainment giant later joined the appeal. Last week’s decision is the second time a federal court has rejected the legal maneuver.


Milne’s representatives filed the federal court action in November 2002, which -- if it had been successful -- would have later this year ended Disney’s obligation to pay royalties to the Slesinger heirs.

U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper in May denied the Milne motion to immediately decide the federal copyright issues.

“This simply means that the copyright portion of the case is going back to federal court,” Disney spokesman John Spelich said.

-- Meg James