Although you have to wonder why the filmmakers chose to include that kind of lock in the movie. Granted, the movie does have a lot of old fashioned stuff in it, But, since the movie came out in recent decades long after that type of lock was used the filmmakers could have purposely avoided it so as not to draw attention from rival studios like Disney
They could have thrown in a scene where Mickey dances in the streets and it wouldn’t have significantly increased any watcher’s awareness of Disney.
You only noticed that padlock because the awareness of Disney is burned into your brain. The padlock is unlikely to have made you, or anyone else think, “I have to go buy something Disney” who wouldn’t have been triggered by something else Disney that same day or week.
He said draw attention from Disney, not to Disney. Although it’s not like Disney didn’t know about Warner Brothers before Watchmen came out. I guess he meant in terms of lawsuits and such, but even if that were a deliberate reference to Disney, it would be protected under fair use, and WB has enough lawyers to fight any frivolous lawsuit brought by the Mouse.
It’s also unlikely that it was a deliberate reference. Watchmen came out Feb. of 2009 - Disney didn’t own Marvel yet, and didn’t have any particular association with super heroes at the time.