Like all major Disney characters, Mickey Mouse is not only , but also , which lasts in perpetuity as long as it continues to be used commercially by its owner. So, whether or not a particular Disney cartoon goes into the , the characters themselves may not be used as trademarks without authorization.
Mickey Mouse's global fame has made him both a symbol of and of the United States itself. For this reason Mickey has been used frequently in anti-American , such as the infamous underground cartoon "". There have been numerous of Mickey Mouse, such as the parody by in which the mouse walks around unshaven and jails out of jealousy over the duck's larger popularity. The grotesque character was created by over his hatred of Mickey Mouse. In , puts a black bra on his head to mimic Mickey Mouse and says: "I'm the mascot of an !" On the series , Mickey is depicted as the sadistic, greedy, foul-mouthed boss of , only interested in money. He also appears briefly with in the comic by the Italian cartoonist .
"Mickey Mouse" is a slang expression meaning small-time, amateurish or trivial. In the UK and Ireland, it also means poor quality or counterfeit. However, in parts of Australia it can mean excellent or very good (rhyming slang for "grouse"). Examples of the former two of the three usages include the following.
In the United States, are often made in order to indicate dissatisfaction with the slate of candidates presented on a particular ballot, or to highlight the inadequacies of a particular voting procedure. Since most states' electoral systems do not provide for blank balloting or a choice of "", most protest votes take the form of a clearly non-serious candidate's name entered as a . Mickey Mouse is often selected for this purpose. As an election supervisor in Georgia observed, "If [Mickey Mouse] doesn’t get votes in our election, it’s a bad election." The earliest known mention of Mickey Mouse as a write-in candidate dates back to the 1932 .