Enriching Life Through Innovative Ideas SM

IP rights and the use of Baby Yoda images

Fans of “The Mandalorian” in the United States may have seen a recent surge of Baby Yoda GIFs being shared online and Baby Yoda Christmas merchandise sold on Etsy. Disney, who owns intellectual property rights to Baby Yoda, could have pursued the individuals and companies responsible for the trending products on the grounds of intellectual property infringement. However, Disney appears to have declined to pursue charges, deciding that an opposite approach is better in this scenario.

In the past, Disney has not been hesitant to address such infringements. In fact, Disney originally insisted that Baby Yoda merchandise would have to wait until 2020.  Disney’s history with confronting intellectual property infringement is probably one of the reasons why Giphy, a popular GIF website, initially pulled the first Baby Yoda GIFs that appeared on their site. After a few days, the GIFs reappeared alongside a statement from Giphy that the company had wanted to review the situation before permitting them back on the site for worldwide sharing. It is likely that the GIFs would have been considered protected under fair use because the GIF creators were not making a profit, the GIFs did not infringe upon Disney’s income, and the GIFs were likely used for a satirical purpose. However, because of Disney’s big name and ready legal team, it is understandable that Giphy wanted to be extra cautious.

Although Disney was originally set to release Baby Yoda toys and products throughout 2020, there is already an online black market of Baby Yoda goods on the popular crafts website Etsy. In terms of Baby Yoda Christmas merchandise, the company evidently reached a decision that pursuing the creators for infringement would be less cost effective in terms of public relations than simply allowing the merchandise to be sold. Disney’s response to the Baby Yoda black market is to expedite its own release of merchandise in time for the holidays. The company is extremely cautious about when merchandise is rolled out because past merchandise releases have spoiled story lines.

An intellectual property dispute can mean that copyright, trade secrets, trademarks, patents and or other types of IP have been violated. An attorney may be able to assist an individual or company in protecting these rights. For some types of IP, this may begin with registration. In other scenarios, companies or individuals may find themselves in disputes regarding a trademark they have used for some time that is now being challenged. An attorney may also be able to help settle these disputes out of court.

FindLaw Network

What Our Clients Say

Starting a new business can be a bit scary. Aside from worries of failure, there’s also the hassle of making sure all legal paperwork are properly filed. I reached out to Mr. Wang (Tommy) because of his excellent reviews and reputation and I am so glad I did. He was thorough and meticulous in answering all of my concerns and took time to find out special laws and policies regarding the kind of business I am starting. I could focus on the daily practical side of starting my new office without worry because I felt Tommy was reliable and took my case seriously. My business is opened and it’s all been a smooth start because of Tommy’s help. I have plans to start another business venture in the next few years and I already know I’ll be coming back to Wang IP Law.

The Shindig W.

I came to Tommy for help reviewing a licensing agreement I had secured with a well-known manufacturer. Tommy made sure I understood all the details in the contract and he negotiated with the company to improve my side of the deal. I mentioned to Tommy at my first consultation that we were looking to expand throughout the US and were investing a lot of money to make a big entrance into the market. I did not think I would have my store open so soon but Tommy also has connections with the local area and realtors to help me secure the location for my first store in the Los Angeles area. Tommy works a lot with the local businesses and he understands how to transition from the Asian market to US market. Within 8 months my store was open for business and fully operating. I must recommend Tommy to any business owners looking for help with contracts and improving their side of the deal. Tommy has the knowledge and experience to make sure there is a smooth process to open for business here, and make sure that your company is set up for success.


I think Tommy and his team by far considered the best people to work with in my 16 business years. Beside quick responses to all my inquiries, they also done things right and providing very professional solutions. I’m highly recommending Tommy and his firm to all business owners.

Calvin C.

I have been working on my Utility Patent for almost 4 years. I have hired and fired two very reputable IP firms because with all their expertise and reputation for being some of the top firms in IP Law, I felt a lack of connection and care in my product, time and financial investment. Then I found Tommy and his team. Tommy does not waste time. He and his team are professional and extremely thorough. After 4 years, I finally found a legal team that I felt spent the time to really understand the components of my utility patent. Tommy also very mindful of cost and how and where my money would be better spent. I really feel I am in great hands with Tommy and his team. They have been patient with my revisions. And most importantly, they made me feel that they fully understood the importance this patent is to me. It has been a great and comforting pleasure working with Tommy.


Read All