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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 June 2006, 08:54 GMT 09:54 UK
Milne family lose Pooh rights bid
Winnie the Pooh
Pooh's adventures can now be read in more than 40 languages
The granddaughter of the creator of children's character Winnie the Pooh has failed in an attempt to regain the copyright on stories about the bear.

Clare Milne was challenging a series of licensing arrangements in place since the books were created in the 1920s.

In 1983 the present owner - the estate of literary agent Stephen Slesinger - signed a deal blocking AA Milne's family from ever regaining control.

The US Supreme Court told Ms Milne this was still valid and rejected her case.

She had begun legal proceedings in 2002, trying to end the Slesingers' ownership.

She was trying to reassign the copyright to Disney.

It had already made Winnie the Pooh one of its most profitable characters by sublicensing rights from the Slesingers.

Trust established

AA Milne wrote the Pooh stories between 1924 and 1928.

Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Kanga, Piglet and Tigger - the original stuffed characters on which AA Milne's books were based
AA Milne based the characters in his books on a number of stuffed toys
The character first appeared in the London Evening News in 1925 in a story called The Wrong Sort of Bees.

Milne died in 1956 but bequeathed the ownership of the copyright to a trust rather than to his family.

In April Pooh was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, four months after the bear's 80th birthday.

In a separate case, Mr Slesinger's widow and daughter have been battling Disney for more than a decade.

They are claiming at least $700 million (384 million) in what they say are unpaid royalties from Pooh merchandise and other material.

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