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Attorney's Actions in Barbie Copyright Suit Fly in the Face of Model Behavior

April 19, 2002|Steve Harvey

A federal appeals court has upheld a $500,000 sanction against an L.A. attorney for "boorish" behavior that included throwing Barbies around a conference room.

The outburst was committed by James Hicks, who had lodged a copyright suit against Mattel on behalf of the creator of a USC cheerleader doll named Claudine.

The suit, which was later dismissed, claimed that several Barbies, including CB Barbie, infringed on Claudine's copyright, the L.A. Daily Journal reported.

During a videotaped conference, Mattel lawyers tried to show Hicks that the Barbies named in the suit bore printed copyrights on the backs of their cute little heads that predated Claudine. Hicks declined to inspect them, sending them into orbit instead.

"It is difficult to imagine that the Barbie doll, so perfect in her sculpture and presentation, and so comfortable in every setting

One question remains unanswered: Where was that dweeb Ken while all this was going on?

Speaking of USC cheerleaders (the human Barbies): Men who graduated from USC before 1970, such as myself, may recall with some bitterness that it was then one of the few major universities that banned female cheerleaders. Rumor had it that some old fogey had left money to the school on the condition that all the cheerleaders be guys. The policy was changed a few years after my (1967) departure. It's a wonder USC could recruit top male athletes before then.

Thanks for the explanation: A reader sent in a photo of a South African bar where the manager doesn't seem very communicative.

Observing lint: "Thought you might enjoy the instructions that came with a lint remover roller," wrote Wayne and Bonnie Cuddeback of Sylmar (see accompanying).

"We have mixed emotions as to whether we should use it. On the one hand, we would like to have a brand new clean circumstance, but on the other hand, we fear having the surface of our clothes torn off!"

Food for thought: Gary Scheidt of Pasadena saw an ad for a mechanic who can help those trying to cut down on bread (see accompanying).

miscelLAny: As The Times' Bob Pool wrote the other day, local TV crews covering the appearance of L.A. Police Chief Bernard C. Parks before the City Council were upset about the facilities at the renovated City Hall. With the new setup, it's difficult for the stations to broadcast live from the building. I can understand how this situation would have developed, though. Who would have ever thought that anyone would want to see live coverage of a City Council session?

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Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012 and by e-mail at steve. harvey@latimes.com.

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