The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Barbie has to live with party girl

Washington, Jan. 27 (Reuters): The US Supreme Court rejected today an appeal by Mattel Inc over its lawsuit against MCA Records Inc claiming the 1997 pop hit Barbie Girl had infringed on the toy maker’s doll trademark.

Without comment, the justices let stand a federal appeals court ruling dismissing the lawsuit on the ground the song by the Danish band “Aqua” was parody and social commentary covered by the US Constitution’s free-speech protections.

Mattel, the world’s largest toy maker which has made the doll since 1959, sued MCA Records, its parent and other units of Universal Music, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal.

The song featured a doll-like female voice impersonating Barbie, calling herself a “blonde bimbo girl” and saying “life in plastic, it's fantastic.” A male singer exhorted Barbie to “go party”. Mattel, based in El Segundo, California, argued the song, which sold more than 1.4 million copies in the US, could confuse consumers and dilute the power of the Barbie brand. MCA defended the song as“social commentary,” saying the album“Aquarium” that included the song also featured a disclaimer noting the song was not sanctioned by the maker of Barbie dolls.

Email This Page