Judge Rules That Artist’s Lawsuit Over “Angry Birds” Plush Pet Toys Can Move Forward

A Seattle artist suing a pet company for allegedly cutting her out of a deal to license a line of plush “Angry Birds” pet toys to Rovio, creators of the popular video game, has won a battle in her legal war. A federal judge has refused to dismiss her lawsuit, saying she’s made a case for her claim that she retained intellectual property rights in the “Angry Birds” trademark.

You can click the link above for the full story, but in short — the artist claims she’s been cheated out of millions of dollars in merchandise profits after pet toy company Hartz stopped making her Angry Birds design as a line of toys and instead, licensed the trademark to Rovio and made a deal to make toys for that company, instead.

Hartz wanted the court to dismiss the case, reports the Associated Press, saying that because of its contract with the artist, it owned the trademark for Angry Birds pet toys and thus could use it however it wanted.

But U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik didn’t agree, instead saying the artist had made a plausible case to support her claim to intellectual property rights.

“They had an obligation to treat [her] fairly and not throw her off for someone else,” the artist’s attorney said.

To be clear — she’s not claiming that the entire Angry Birds kingdom belongs to her, or that the video game is based off her design, at least, not so far. Her attorney has said there are similarities in the two versions, however. He says he’s in touch with Rovio, which has thus far not commented on the lawsuit as it’s not named in it.

Artist’s ‘Angry Birds’ lawsuit goes forward [Associated Press]

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