Faulkner vs. Hasbro…

Harris Faulkner is suing Hasbro for 5 million because a toy. The New York Daily News’ Dareh Gregorian has more

In papers filed in New Jersey Federal Court, Harris Faulkner says she’s suffered “substantial commercial and emotional damage” from a plastic hamster doll that shares her name.

“Harris Faulkner, the uniquely named, acclaimed veteran journalist and author, has worked for decades to establish and maintain her personal brand and laudable professional reputation,” her $5 million lawsuit says.

But toy giant Hasbro Inc. has “willfully and wrongfully appropriated Faulkner’s unique and valuable name and distinctive persona for its own financial gain—by creating, manufacturing, and distributing for sale a plastic toy hamster named ‘Harris Faulkner.’”

This is serious. I don’t know Hasbro’s system that constitutes its path to market but companies that use names, or make up names, tend to have some form of clearing system to make sure that real people, particularly real famous people, don’t get caught up in the process. If you look at the pets list for Hasbro’s Littlest Pet Shop – which incidentally does not include the Faulkner model – the names are rather eccentric. So the idea that someone famous’ real name made it all the way through the process seems to suggest that Hasbro’s vetting process broke down somewhere along the line.

So I definitely think Faulkner has something of a case, in as much as her name should never have made it in to a product. How much of a case will be up for a court to decide. If the case ever gets that far.

Some of the claims bandied about in the lawsuit however strike me as tossing the kitchen sink into the complaint…

In addition to its “prominent and unauthorized use of Faulkner’s name,” it also has a “physical resemblance to Faulkner’s traditional professional appearance, in particular tone of its complexion, the shape of its eyes, and the design of its eye makeup.”

Hmmm…

comparison

I don’t see it…particularly when you look at all the other toys in that product line. But, again, this will be for a court to decide…

3 Responses to “Faulkner vs. Hasbro…”

  1. Grandpa Dave Says:

    Is this “littlest Pet” really in production (and sale)? Or is it just an in-house mockup of a proposed product on which some enamored artist put Faulkner’s name?

  2. Don’t understand why this toy was named for Harris or why Hasbro never talked to her about it before they used her name…only slightly get the idea at all and think it was stupid of Hasbro not to see trouble coming from this.

  3. Does Hasbro know how to google? I hope Harris wins & $5M will be a nice best egg to help pay for college and retirement.

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