Juli Adams, the creator of the plush pet toys “Angry Birds,” filed a lawsuit after The Hartz Mountain Company sold her intellectual property to Rovio Entertainment, a video game company. Adams had originally designed her toys for Hartz.
Adams claims that she has the trademark for “Angry Birds,” while Hartz claims that it has the rights to her designs as in accordance to its contract with Adams. The company also argues that that there is not an enforceable trademark license, because it is not using the trademarked name, “Angry Birds,” and the license does not have quality control provisions. Hartz, therefore, wanted the case dismissed; however, the judge refused, because he thinks Adams has a good case to prove that she retains her intellectual property rights.
Adams and her attorneys are hoping to secure damages equal to three times of what Hartz made through the possibly illegal sale to Rovio. The lawsuit does not involve Rovio, as this particular lawsuit is only about whether or not Adams or Hartz held the rights to the “Angry Birds” design.
Quality control is unique to trademarks in intellectual property licensing. For instance, copyrights or patents are not required to enforce these provisions. Quality control sets statutory requirements and quality standards, protects the reputation of the trademark for both the licensor and licensee and prevents misuse of the trademark.
The absence of quality control provisions in trademarking is called “naked licensing.”
If you feel someone is treading on your intellectual property rights, then contact the Los Angeles trademark infringement attorneys at Klein Trial Lawyers. Our firm has helped businesses in the LA-area for two decades both in and outside of the courtroom.
[Did You Know? A California trademark application is only $70 compared to $335 for a United States version of the application.]
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