action figures and dolls
A thread in metafilter today on the death of the creator of Barbie brought to mind a conversation with a group of friends this weekend over Korean barbeque. The topic had turned to advertising on television.
In one commercial that came up, a GI Joe action figure pulls up in a Red Nissan sportscar to pick up Barbie, leaving behind a dejected Ken doll. I remember seeing the commercial, but never heard that legal action had come out of it. The GI Joe manufacture sued Nissan Motor Company over it.
It's not the only litigation that has happened when it comes to dolls and action figures. There is a difference between the two. I know there is. But the courts don't necessarily see it that way. The people at the Villanova Sports & Entertainment Law Journal have said so. The Legal Battles of G.I. Joe: The Jurisprudence of Distinctive Fingernails, Action Figures, Ninjas, and Distinquished Marines is a nice survey of GI Joe in court. The law regarding intellectual property just wouldn't be the same without the involvement of this action figure.