San Diego – Hasbro, the world’s second-largest toymaker, has succeeded in winning a trademark infringement action against a U.K. toy distributor MAPS Toys. Hasbro sued Maps as well as German company 123 Nahrmittel over its infringing use of the term “play dough” with its “Yummy Dough” product.
The suit, filed with the High Court of Justice, noted that although children are encouraged to use Hasbro’s molding compound to make food-like objects, it is not intended to be edible. In fact, “Play-Doh” contains components to make the taste unpleasant and to discourage children from eating it. Hasbro’s “Play-Doh” has been on the market since 1955.
The Yummy Dough product is meant to be eaten, and even uses the phrase “the edible play dough” on its packaging. Hasbro insisted that this terminology would create a strong likelihood of confusion with consumers. 123 Nahrmittel questioned whether “Play-Doh” was even validly registered or should in any event be revoked. Judges with the High Court denied the counterclaim and ruled in favor of Hasbro.
The ruling demands that 123 Nahrmittel cease marketing its product as “Play Dough”. The German toy-maker must also compensate Hasbro for legal fees and damages.
The 123 Nahrmittel website states that it is disappointed with the decision and is considering its options in regard to an appeal. Really? To us this seems like a clear infringement so it seems that 123 Nahrmittel should just turn the page.