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Quick research says Popeye's still under Copyright in the US even if he's PD elsewhere in the world. Felix seems to have a few hang-ups due to Dreamworks trademarks from 2007:Yeah but you could also add characters like Popeye or Felix the Cat
In thhat case, I guess I should fully expect Disney to make things difficult with Mickey as well.It's confusing - his very early cartoons are public domain, his first appearance is public domain which means the character is public domain BUT he is still trademark protected by Dreamworks in 2007. You can take the character and make your own based on his earlier works but you can't call him Felix on the cover, you can't use the trademarked name as a selling point basically. You might be able to get away with calling him Phelix lol but when it comes to trademark in the US at least it currently trumps public domain.