… or Heavily Litigated Barbie. Either way, she’s an American legal icon. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has released two decisions on the perfect plastic model woman in the past week.
The first (fair warning: 24-page PDF file) concerns a dispute between Mattel and a German company that alleged patent infringement decades ago; the Germans lost their case in 1961, but are coming back and looking for royalties now (thanks to Trademark Blog for that item).
The second (43-page PDF file) centers on Mattel’s attempts to stop a Utah photographer from selling his pictures of Barbie in a variety of compromising poses with kitchen appliances. A lower court granted the artist summary judgment — finding that his work did not infringe Mattel’s patents or trademarks. The appeals court affirmed that judgment and said Mattel might owe court costs in the case.