Mattel sues to keep Barbie off porn site

Aug 22, 1:41 AM EDT

Mattel seeks to shut porn Web site it says uses Barbie trademarks

Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Toy maker Mattel isn't amused by a model's pornographic play on the name of its clean-cut Barbie dolls.

Mattel went to court Tuesday to complain that the Web site of an adult entertainer named China Barbie has tried to benefit from the success of the 48-year-old line of dolls. They include Barbie's sister, Skipper, her best friend, Midge, and Skipper's boyfriend, Kevin.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, said Mattel Inc. had registered its trademarks to protect the Barbie line and its billions of dollars in sales. Mattel said it has sold more than 1 billion Barbie dolls worldwide, and a typical American girl owns eight of them.

China Barbie's site says she's a curvaceous, "cordial young lady" who worked at leading investment banking firms and advertising agencies in New York before getting into porn. It says her filmography includes "Ethnic Cheerleaders 8" and "Passport to Paradise," and it charges $19.95 for monthly access to its photos and video clips.

According to the lawsuit, the offending Web site is registered to Global China Networks LLC and is operated by Terri Gibson of Hollywood, Fla.

A telephone message left for Gibson on Tuesday was not immediately returned, and an e-mail sent to China Barbie through the Web site bounced back.

The lawsuit said Global China Networks used a domain name containing the word "barbie" in a "bad faith attempt to profit from Mattel's Barbie trademarks" and had damaged Mattel's good name.

The lawsuit asked the court to order the transfer of the domain name registration to Mattel, to award damages of up to $100,000 and to order that any profits Global China Networks achieved be given to Mattel.

Mattel said the Web site is toying with an image carefully crafted since company co-founder Ruth Handler created the Barbie doll in 1959. She had discovered that her daughter, Barbara, preferred to play with paper cutouts of adult female fashion dolls, rather than baby dolls.

Associated Press writer Dino Hazell contributed to this report.

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