Since 1955, Miffy has delighted children. The character has also delighted graphic designers and illustrators who seem to have been influenced by Dick Bruna's work. Take Hello Kitty (and her friends)—they look like Miffy, no?
While his work is popular in Asia, Bruna has continuously voiced his dislike for Hello Kitty—the Japanese cat's rabbit friend was even taken to court. But Miffy's legal eagles didn't stop there. More recently, they filed an injunction against a South Korean "shy rabbit" character named Booto (see above).
This past Friday, the Seoul Central District Court rejected that injunction against Booto, stating, "Miffy and Booto have slight differences when looking at the details but these create a significant difference in the overall look." Continuing the presiding judge added, "The two characters must be regarded as separate creative images."
What's more, the judge did note that there were similarities, but that some of those similarities were unavoidable because they were rabbits. Funny, though, Booto looks noting like Bugs Bunny, Peter Rabbit, Roger Rabbit, or even Thumper. That being said, the Korean character sure looks less like Miffy than Hello Kitty's bunny buddy (below).
Local firm wins rabbit character suit [The Korea Times]