The Beano accuses Jacob Rees-Mogg of infringing its intellectual property rights
The Tory MP has been ordered to stop his 'ongoing impersonation' of the Walter Brown character.
The Beano has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Jacob Rees-Mogg, ordering him to stop masquerading as one of its popular cartoon characters.
The Conservative MP stands accused of infringing the intellectual property rights of Beano Studios by copying various attributes of Walter Brown. The Beano claims that eagle-eyed young fans informed the publisher of the copyright breach.
“It is evident that there are numerous instances whereby you have adopted trademarked imagery and brand essences of the character to the benefit of enhancing your career and popularity. This constitutes a clear infringement of our copyright,” states a letter by Mike Stirling, head of Beano Studios Scotland.
Walter Brown - also know as Walter the Softy - is aged 10 and counts Dennis the Menace as his worst enemy. His prized possession is his briefcase and his motto is: ‘Fun is for failures!’
In his letter, Stirling points to seven distinct attributes that he claims 48-year-old Rees Mogg has copied from Walter Brown. They include the character’s “hair parting and style”, his “distinctive round reading glasses”, his “choice of spotty ties and vintage apparel” and “snootiness”.
The missive, sent on Tuesday April 3, concludes: “We firmly request that you cease and desist in your ongoing impersonation of the character, which remains the exclusive property of Beano Studios. A swift response on this matter would be greatly appreciated to avoid getting Teacher involved.”
Rees Mogg had yet to respond to the wheeze (cooked up by PR firm Taylor Herring) by Wednesday morning, prompting the Beano to go public. But the staunch Brexiteer eventually broke cover in a typically self-deprecating manner.
He posted on Twitter: "I am flattered to be accused by the Beano's legal eagles of imitating Walter the Softy whose powerful physical prowess is so much greater than my own."