Tweety Bird, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and his girlfriend Daisy have been summonsed to appear in a Naples criminal trial.
The trial of a Chinese man accused of counterfeiting Disney and Warner Bros. products turned to farce after clerks included the names “Titty, Paperino, Paperina, Topolino” — the Italian names for the characters – as damaged parties in the case.
Instead of naming only the companies and their legal representatives, clerks also wrote in the witness list the names of the cartoons that decorated the toys and gadgets that the man had allegedly reproduced, said Fiorenza Sorotto, vice president of Disney Company Italia.
“Unfortunately they cannot show up, as they are residents of Disneyland,” Mr Sorotto joked in a telephone interview. “It certainly pleased us that the characters were considered real, because that’s what we try to do.”
The Naples court will have to rewrite the summons minus the cartoon character, though this will probably delay the trial, said a Disney lawyer, Cristina Ravelli.
“Let’s hope the characters will not be prosecuted for failing to appear,” Ms Ravelli added.