Fashion Law Humorous

Fun Fashion Law Friday – Barbie’s Best Legal Battles!

Take your mind of the serious and ease yourself into the weekend with fashion law Barbie. She’s having some Friday fashion law fun and invites you to join in! She’s one of the hardest working dolls in Mattel’s collection and our personal favourite. Wigs and Gowns take a look at some of her hard fought court legal battles!

Barbie v Aqua

In 1997 Barbie went to war with Danish pop band Aqua over their smash hit song ‘Barbie Girl’. Barbie sued the band, saying they violated the Barbie trademark and turned her into a sex object, referring to her as a blonde bimbo (when we clearly all know she’s a high flying fashion law attorney!) Unfortunately for Barbie the court ruled the song was protected as a parody under the trademark doctrine of nominative use.

Barbie v Bondage

In 2002 artist Suzanne Pitt turned Barbie into a partly nude “Dungeon Doll”. Outraged by having to wear a rubber bondage dress and helmet (it ruined her hair), Barbie filed suit in a New York court seeking an injunction against Pitt claiming the dolls infringed copyright. Sadly Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled in favour of the S&M doll because she found it wasn’t a market substitute for Barbie dolls. “To the court’s knowledge there is no Mattel line of S&M Barbie,” she said.

Saudi Arabia v Barbie

In September 2003, Saudi Arabia outlawed the sale of Barbie dolls, saying that she did not conform to the ideals of Islam. The Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice stated that “Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful”. Barbie decided not to fight this one. And nope, we didn’t know that Barbie was Jewish either!

Patricia Day v Barbie

In December 2010, Patricia Day, lead singer and bass player with psychobilly band Horror Pops, filed suit against Barbie alleging that Mattel had created a doll, ’Hard Rock Barbie’, in her likeness for which she had not given authorisation. Day claimed that Barbie’s black hair done in 50′s pin-up fashion, her heavily applied black eye makeup, red lipstick, 50’s-style pencil skirts, coloured sleeve tattoos and her tattooed upright bass were all based on Day’s own image. This one settled out of court so Barbie never got to defend her love of the Meteors to the jury.

Beverly Hillbilly v Barbie

In 2011 the woman who portrayed Elly May Clampett in the 1960s TV series “The Beverly Hillbillies” sued Barbie over the production of a Barbie doll that she said looked like her. It did, “Elly May” Barbie was based on her character from the TV series. Actress Donna Douglas claimed that Barbie was engaging in the unauthorized use of her name, likeness and image to promote and sell the “Elly May” Barbie. This one also settled out of court.

Have a pinktastic weekend, folks!

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