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SHORT TAKES : Puppet Kids Suing New Kids

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

You might be able to tell a puppet show from a pop group, but a puppet show production company called Kids on the Block isn’t so sure.

On Wednesday, Kids on the Block sued the singing New Kids on the Block in federal court, accusing the teen idols of using its trademark name. It also wants New Kids to find a new name.

Kids on the Block, based in Cumberland, Md., produces puppet shows for children about physical and social disabilities. It also distributes books, audio and videotapes and T-shirts based on its puppet characters.

The lawsuit said New Kid recordings and merchandise are likely to make people think the singing group is affiliated with the puppet company, which has operated under its name since 1977.

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