LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday that it has withdrawn its application to trademark the phrase "SEAL Team 6," the elite unit that killed Osama bin Laden, after the Navy moved to protect its rights and the entertainment giant endured a wave of criticism and late-night jibes.
Disney sought the trademark rights on May 3, two days after U.S. operatives raided a luxury compound in Pakistan and killed the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
Disney's ABC subsidiary wanted to develop a TV show along the lines "NCIS" and "JAG," which are also real-life Navy units, and would have focused on the drama and heroism of the special forces members.
But it drew flak for not only its rapid filing, but also for a trademark application that included items like Christmas stockings and snow globes.
Comedy show host Jon Stewart needled the company on his "Daily Show": "I can't wait for the Happy Meal."
Navy spokeswoman Amanda Greenberg said the Navy already had rights to the SEAL trademark but recently submitted two new applications for trademarks of "Navy SEALs" and "SEAL Team."
"The Navy is fully committed to protecting its trademark rights as it pertains to this matter and is currently examining all legal options," she said.
Disney/ABC spokesman Kevin Brockman said the company pulled the plug on its bid "in deference to the Navy's application."
Disney is still interested in producing a show based on the unit's operatives although it would likely be produced by a third-party studio.
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