Volley of the Dolls Settled
NEW YORK (AP) _ Barbie and Miss America are friends again.
Mattel Inc., Barbie’s parent company, agreed to settle a copyright dispute that kept thousands of Miss America dolls made by Kenner Products locked up in a U.S. Customs warehouse, lawyers said Wednesday.
Mattel alleged, and a Customs hearing officer later agreed, that the heads of three of the five Miss America dolls looked too much like Barbie’s.
Hawthorne, Calif.-based Mattel asked Customs to ban the dolls, made in China, under a federal copyright law that gives Customs the power to detain shipments of suspected pirated goods.
Under the settlement, Mattel agreed to allow Cincinnati-based Kenner to continue making one of the disputed heads, while the other two will be discontinued, according to Mattel lawyer Arthur Levine and Kenner lawyer Carol Simkin.
″Barbie and Miss America have made up,″ Levine said.
The Miss America dolls were launched last year. Mattel has sold 600 million Barbie dolls in the past 30 years.