Lawsuit claims that undead-themed book is a little too close to popular youth-novel series
Greg Heffley had better take his vitamins and do some push-ups, because he's about to go up against a formidable foe indeed — a zombie who bears an eerie likeness to him.
Wimpy Kid, Inc., the copyright holders of the hugely popular "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book series, has filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against comic-book publisher Antarctic Press, claiming that Antarctic has violated Wimpy Kid's intellectual property with its book "Diary of a Zombie Kid."
Read the full lawsuit here.
According to the suit, "Zombie Kid" — published by San Antonio-based Antarctic in August 2011 — is "substantially similar" to the "Wimpy Kid" book line, and "obviously intended to confuse the public into believing that defendant's books are addition to such series."
In addition to depicting a backpack-carrying protagonist, the suit alleges, the "Zombie Kid" cover artwork bears a startling similarity to the "Wimpy Kid" series, including "distinctive striping along the spine, the hand-drawn pictures of the main character on the front and back covers, both illustrated so as to appear to be taped at each corner of the cover, and the miniature illustration of a male child's head located on the side of the book."
The lettering is also confusingly similar to that of the "Wimpy Kid" series, according to the suit, with letters stylized so as to look brush-painted.
The complaint, which was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, alleges multiple counts, including federal trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trade dress infringement, federal trademark dilution and deceptive trade practices.
Wimpy Kid, Inc., which is owned by "Wimpy Kid" creator Jeff Kinney, is asking the court to enjoin Antarctic from further alleged trademark infringement. The company is also seeking treble damages, plus attorneys' fees and Antarctic's profits from "Diary of a Zombie Kid."
The "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book series has sold more than 52 million copies in North America alone, according to the suit, and has spawned a film series starring Zachary Gordon as Heffley.
Antarctic Press' attorney in the matter had no comment for TheWrap.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.