Friday, November 08, 2002

this makes my ip-lawyer-to-be heart beat in excitement and anticipation. judge favors bondage barbie:

Toy manufacturer Mattel Inc. is not entitled to summary judgment in a copyright infringement case against a British woman who sold sexually explicit dolls made with a Barbie doll product, a federal judge in New York judge has ruled.

Susanne Pitt, who operated the now-defunct, had offered for sale on the Web site a "dungeon doll" made partly of Mattel's SuperStar Barbie. SuperStar Barbie is an unadorned head sculpture based on Mattel's famous Barbie doll. Pitt allegedly attached a body of her own making to the SuperStar Barbie head and also used it in a sexual explicit story on her Web site.


The judge used one of Pitt's Dungeon Dolls that was purchased by Mattel's counsel to make her determination. The Dungeon Doll's dress, which Pitt described as "'Lederhosen-style' Bavarian bondage dress and a helmet in rubber with a PVC-mask and a waspie," convinced Swain that the product was sufficiently different in design from a typical Barbie-related toy.


"Defendant's 'touch-ups' of the dolls plus the setting she creates for them transform, to put it mildly, the original doll to an extent beyond merely supplanting it," Swain wrote. "A different analysis would apply if Defendant had, for example, dressed Barbie dolls in a different style of cheerleader outfit than those marketed by Mattel. To the Court's knowledge, there is no Mattel line of 'S&M' Barbie."

"Defendant's customizing appears to have evoked the image of Barbie while transforming the Barbie doll sufficiently that the quality and quantity of her copying weigh against a judgment as a matter of law in favor of Plaintiff," the decision stated. "It appears that there is slim to no likelihood that Dungeon Dolls would serve as a market substitute for Barbie dolls. The extent to which the context and character of the Dungeon Dolls transformed the unadorned Barbie head weighs against Plaintiff on the current record."

lederhosen style bavarian bondage dress? s&m barbie? the nypost shows a picture. he.

what a funky thing to do in court, on both sides even. however, i have the duty to be partial to mattel ever since being admitted to their awesome showroom.... awww. i still long for the "me so hungry" cookie monster.