Orrick advised StudioCanal in the acquisition of Paddington and Company Limited, which owns all intellectual property rights apart from publishing rights to Michael Bond’s classic children’s character Paddington Bear.
At the same time, StudioCanal has also acquired The Copyrights Group Limited, which acts as merchandise licensing agent for Paddington Bear and represents several other famous literary properties, and Harvey Unna and Stephen Durbridge (1975) Limited, which has represented all of the media rights for Paddington Bear for the last 40 years. With these acquisitions, StudioCanal takes full ownership of the Paddington brand worldwide, including such activities as live entertainment, video games and theme parks.
Created by Michael Bond CBE in 1958, Paddington Bear is one of the most famous and best-loved children’s book characters with countless fans all over the world. Over 35 million books have been sold worldwide in more than 40 languages and over 25 million people own a Paddington soft toy.
Karen Jankel, owner and Managing Director of Paddington and Company Limited, will be retaining a consultancy role on the future creative development of the brand in association with the team at The Copyrights Group Limited, who have represented Paddington since 1984. Michael Bond will also continue to work closely with StudioCanal as regards the publishing rights, which he retains.
StudioCanal is Europe’s leader in production, rights acquisition, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series. The 2014 movie Paddington was StudioCanal’s biggest success, with a global box office of close to $300 million, and is the most successful family film to be released outside of Hollywood. Production on Paddington 2 is to begin in October, with the film scheduled for release in late 2017.
The London-based Orrick team advising StudioCanal was led by corporate partner Jinal Shah and included IP partner Kolvin Stone, tax partner Ed Denny and Alice Edwards, Alexei Sobolev and Amy Roper.