Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Mattel has lost a legal battle over the name Barbies Shop, a Canadian leather, rubber and fetish-wear boutique run by a woman who says she has always been known as Barbie. It is the latest in a line of trade mark humiliations for the toymaker.

Barbies Shop (sic) sells “custom clothing and hot brands for bad boyz and girls” at barbiesshop.com and from premises in Calgary. The owner has Barbara Anderson-Walley on her birth certificate, but says she has been known as Barbie since starting school.

She has designed clothing under the name Barbie Anderson-Walley for 14 years, although the website has only existed for the past year. She expressed delight at hearing the case against her had been dismissed this week.

“This is thrilling," she told the Edmonton Sun. "As a little guy with no money, I thought I didn't have a hope."

Mattel sued in New York but its case was dismissed on the grounds that it did not have jurisdiction in Canada, according to CTV news.

This is not the first time that Mattel has lost its attempts to protect Barbie's good name.

In 2003, a US appeals court found that an artist who published a series of photographs showing the popular figurine naked and stuffed inside an oven and a blender had not infringed Mattel's trade mark as the works were a parody or satire.

Earlier the same year, the US Supreme Court refused to hear Mattel's appeal after losing its lawsuit over the 1997 hit Barbie Girl. Record label MCA convinced a judge that Denmark's Aqua had written a humorous commentary on cultural values.

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