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Mattel Accuses Retailer of Infringing Toy Patents

April 05, 2002|From Bloomberg News

Mattel Inc. sued Urban Outfitters Inc., accusing the retailer of stealing the largest toy maker's Magic 8 Ball and Rock'em Sock'em trademarks and patents.

Mattel objects to Urban Outfitters' sale of shirts with an image of the Magic 8 Ball and Rock'em Sock'em Robots toys. The suit also named Funworks Toy & Gift Inc., which made and supplied shirts with the clairvoyant orbs, and Stussy Inc., which sold the retailer shirts depicting the robots.

The copyright, trademark and trade-dress infringement lawsuit asks the court to stop the sale of and destroy all the allegedly illegal Magic 8 Ball Rock'em Sock'em shirts. It also asks for unspecified punitive and actual damages.

"Mattel has suffered and continues to suffer damage to its business reputation and goodwill" because of the defendants' acts, Mattel says in the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters and Irvine-based Stussy declined to comment on the suit. Closely held Funworks of Vancouver, Canada, could not immediately be reached for comment.

El Segundo-based Mattel acquired the rights to the 56-year-old Magic 8 Ball when it bought Tyco Toys in 1997. The toy, which resembles a billiard eight ball, has a window that displays answers to players' questions.

Rock'em Sock'em Robots, created in 1966, are blue and red robots that throw punches at each other. When one robot strikes the other's chin, that robot's head pops up on a spring.

Mattel shares fell 22 cents to $20.28 on the New York Stock Exchange. Urban Outfitters shares rose 95 cents to $22.90 on Nasdaq.

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