The owners of the Barbie brand are suing a snack food company that is using one of its most profitable properties.
Legendary toy company Mattel, Inc., has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against Rap Snacks, Inc. Nicki Minajthe rapper, Nicki Minaj, is not part of the complaint. The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday, August 8, includes a federal unfair competition and false designation of origin charge, a federal trademark dilution charge and a singular charge of state unfair competition violation.
According to a lawsuit obtained exclusively by AllHipHop, the main defendant in the case is Rap Snacks, Inc, the company that gave Nicki her own flavor of snack just a month ago. According to the claim, “For decades, Mattel Barbie has been one of the most recognizable and recognizable brands in the world.” “From Barbie’s origins as America’s first fashion doll to today’s broad product line that includes toys inspired by Rosa Parks, Jane Goodall and Eleanor Roosevelt, among other models, Barbie has inspired unlimited potential in generations of children. children through play”.
“Barbie has also become a growing franchise and popular culture phenomenon outside the toy aisle, from an established range of Barbie-branded consumer products to a wide range of popular animated television series and specials, and more recent initiatives, like the next live action. Character theatrical film, all produced or licensed and supported by Mattel.”
With its new partnership with the Queens rapper, Mattel claims that Rap Snacks is trying to cash in on its doll. The lawyers write: “Rap Snacks made the deliberate and calculated choice to launch a new line of products using Mattel’s famous BARBIE brand.” “This choice, made without prior notice to the organization, was illegal. As a result, the company was forced to bring this action to defend its rights to the BARBIE brand because the defendant had inadmissibly negotiated and continues to negotiate the value and goodwill of the famous brand,” he continued.
The suit says Rap Snacks failed to obtain authorization from Mattel to “launch its new line of potato chips using the BARBIE branding on its packaging and advertising, including the stylized branding”, and claimed that this was “purposely” misleading. One thing to note, on the part of the public and the accusing company, was that the packaging incorporates the color pink and Barbie’s signature font – often associated with the doll.
“Defendant’s blatant and intentional use of the Mattel brand will cause consumers to associate Defendant’s products with the company and its BARBIE brand,” the complaint states. Lawyers said that even representatives of Nicki Minaj returned to Rap Snacks and asked if they got permission before the snack was released. But they had no answer.
“Rap Snacks has never requested or received such permission from Mattel. The company started releasing its product line anyway,” the claim states. Instead, they engaged in a rigorous social media, marketing, and promotion campaign that included placing the bag “guarantee” on a New York City billboard, promotional giveaways of potato chips at a music festival in New York. Orleans, an exclusive article announcing the release in People Magazine.”
Mattel wants to see Rap Snacks in court for causing confusion in the marketplace after infringing on its trademark, “despite having an actual notice of the organization’s rights in its BARBIE trademark, around June 30, 2022.” The company wants a judge to order a judgment clearly declaring the violation and prevent the establishment from continuing to make the snacks by permanently removing them from any advertising or physical product bearing the BARBIE-QUE brand from any location, “including any website, supermarket or point of sale”.
Mattel wants Rap Snacks to actually cancel its trademark registrations for “Barbie” and be awarded “all profits made by defendant Rap Snacks.” They are also suing for punitive and exemplary damages based on the company’s “wrongful and tortuous acts” and associated court/attorney fees.