MGA Entertainment Inc. is being sued by another rival toymaker, this time over its Legend of Nara Battling Bugs robotic toy line.
Innovation First, based in Greenville, Texas, on Tuesday said that Legend of Nara infringes on its copyrights for the Hexbug Nano, a toy carried by major retailers that moves with quick, random insect-like motion and rights itself if flipped on its back. It said it filed a lawsuit last week in Hunt County, Texas, asserting claims for common law misappropriation and unjust enrichment.
“Innovation First has spent extensive resources to engineer, develop, and perfect the Hexbug Nano, and we won’t hesitate to sue companies throughout the supply chain that attempt to take a free ride off our hard-earned efforts by producing, distributing or selling copycat products,” Innovation First Chief Executive Tony Norman said in a statement.
MGA on Wednesday called the lawsuit “specious” and “a marketing ploy ... intended to mislead customers.” MGA noted it had filed its own complaint in federal court in Los Angeles earlier this year, asking for a declaration from the court that the Texas company had no intellectual property rights in the Hexbug Nano for its Nara Bug to infringe.
The company said that Innovation First’s response in that case, in which it agreed that each company’s product were “substantially different” in design and appearance, runs counter to its claims in this new suit.
MGA, based in Van Nuys, continues to battle El Segundo toy making giant Mattel Inc. over MGA’s Bratz fashion doll franchise.
In July, an appeals court threw out a 2008 jury verdict and damage award that gave the Bratz line to Mattel, which argued that the dolls were created by one of its employees while he was still working for Mattel. A new trial is set for January. Since then, MGA has introduced a new line of Bratz dolls.
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