A judge is upholding seven of eight claims in a lawsuit filed last summer by a Seattle artist suing a pet toy company over the use of her ‘Angry Birds’ toys.
As creator of plush toys for pets she called ‘Angry Birds,’ Juli Adams struck a deal with Hartz Mountain Corp., which she contends turned around and sold her ‘Angry Birds’ pet toy line to Rovio Entertainment.
The lawsuit states that Hartz never purchased the intellectual property from Adams, and the company entered into a separate agreement with Rovio once ‘Angry Birds’ became popular. The move allegedly “deprived her of millions of dollars of royalties on sales of Angry Birds pet toys,” according to a press release from Adams’ attorneys at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in Seattle.
Apparently, a U.S. District Court judge thinks so, too. According to an order, he rejected Hartz’s motion to dismiss the case, upholding claims that the company “violated its contract with Adams, was unjustly enriched, and wrongfully used her trademark.”
“We believe that when Hartz dumped Ms. Adams’ toy line and struck a lucrative deal with Rovio, it knew exactly what it was doing – intentionally cutting Juli Adams out of the picture to profit on the ‘Angry Birds’ name,” said Anthony Shapiro, a partner at Hagens Berman and one of the attorneys representing Adams, in a press release.
Adams’ last royalty payment from Hartz was for $40.66 in 2011.
The order below: