Supreme Court upholds ruling on Spejbl & Hurvinek ownership rights

06-08-2007

The Supreme Court has upheld a lower-instance court decision on ownership rights to Spejbl and Hurvinek, two legendary marionette characters dating back to Czechoslovakia's First Republic. The court on Monday confirmed last year's ruling that the rights belong to Helena Stachova, director of the Spejbl + Hurvinek theatre in Prague. The registered trademark had been contested in a nine-year-long legal battle by a theatre in Pilsen with ties to puppeteer Josef Skupa, the original voice behind both characters. He was succeeded by Milos Kirschner, who later had the trademark registered. It was inherited by his widow. The names Spejbl and Hurvinek are instantly recognisable to most Czechs; the characters are also well-known internationally.