Mattel Sues Nissan Over TV Ad


Toy-making giant Mattel Inc., which last week sued MCA Records for trademark infringement over a hit song, filed suit against Japanese car maker Nissan for a TV ad featuring dolls resembling G.I. Joe, Barbie and her boyfriend, Ken. The 11-count suit filed in federal court in Los Angeles seeks an injunction to block the spot from airing, plus unspecified damages and costs against Nissan for causing "irreparable injury to Mattel's name, business reputation and goodwill." In the suit, Mattel outlines what it alleges are various violations of its trademarks and copyrights. "The commercial features a Nick doll, which bears a striking resemblance to the G.I. Joe doll, escaping from the mouth of a dinosaur, which bears a striking resemblance to Mattel's 'Jurassic Park' line of dinosaurs. Nick then gets into a toy Nissan sports car and drives to a dollhouse, which borrows elements from various Mattel Barbie dollhouses." The suit says the toy car drives past a racing track that resembles several Mattel toy car tracks, and then Nick picks up a Roxanne doll that looks like Barbie. Mattel says its Hula Hoop trademark was also violated. There was no comment from Nissan.

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