The Wimpy Kid was not so wimpy in a Massachusetts court on December 28 when the company that represents the book brand won a temporary restraining order against Antarctic Press, publisher of two Wimpy Kid parody graphic novels. The previous week, Wimpy Kid, Inc. had filed a lawsuit against Antarctic Press for trademark and trade dress infringement, based on the similar appearance of the Zombie Kid books to the multimillion-selling Wimpy Kid franchise.
Antarctic assented to the proposed restraining order, and agreed to contact its vendors to stop selling the books within three days. However, according to court papers, the two sides are negotiating a more permanent solution.
Two Wimpy Zombie books by Fred Perry and David Hutchison came out in 2011, both duplicating the typography, trade dress and even color schemes of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Rodrick Rules—and without the “parody” stamp often used to protect such humorous efforts.
Published by Abrams, Jeff Kinney’s six-volume Wimpy Kid series has sold over 52 million copies in North America. In addition to trademark infringement, Wimpy Kid, Inc. is claiming false designation of origin, trademark dilution and tarnishment, and unfair competition against Antarctic.