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A French children’s book author claims there’s something a little too fishy about Nemo. Franck Le Calvez went to court Monday to argue that the lovable title character in “Finding Nemo” is a copy of his own creation, a smiling orange-and-white clown fish named Pierrot. A Paris judge will decide March 12 whether “Finding Nemo” products should be pulled from the shelves in France while Le Calvez’s lawsuit against Pixar and Disney is pending. Black-robed lawyers cradled Nemo stuffed animals Monday as they argued their cases. Le Calvez claims Nemo’s creators copied his character and story, “Pierrot the Clown Fish,” about a young fish separated from his family — a plot similar to “Finding Nemo.” The case is for breach of copyright and trademark. The author says he registered his story with French trademark officials in 1995. After pitching his idea to film animation studios with no success, Le Calvez turned Pierrot into an idea for a book that he published in 2002. Disney lawyer Magali Thorne argued that her client’s clown fish was already drawn up by 2000, before Le Calvez published his book. And as for the resemblance, she said, a clown fish is a clown fish. “A clown fish is orange,” she said. “It has three white stripes … Everything is already there in nature.” Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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