Los Angeles - A California Federal judge ordered a counterfeiter to stop selling toys that infringe on Rovio Entertainment Ltd.’s copyrights and trademarks related to its popular video game, “Angry Birds.”
Finland-based Rovio filed the complaint on October 29th against Royal Plush Toys Inc., a Livermore, California-based company, the company’s President, Jong K. Park, and two other companies affiliated with Park.
The complaint states that Royal Plush’s stuffed toys are “nearly identical with only minor variations that most consumers would not recognize,” to the plush toys made by Commonwealth Toy & Novelty Co. Inc., the toy company that produces “Angry Bird” plush toys under a licensing agreement with Rovio.
In addition to the infringement allegation, the complaint claimed that Park and his affiliated companies were engaging in unfair competition and were being unjustly enriched by using the “Angry Birds” brand which Rovio has devoted time and money into building. According to Rovio, the “Angry Birds” game, which started out as an application for iPhones, is now available on a wide variety of platforms and devices. It has been downloaded more than a billion times.
Rovio asked ex parte early in the case for a temporary restraining order. U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong denied the motion, stating that Rovio had not presented substantial evidence to prove that Royal Plush would likely destroy evidence before the injunction hearing could take place. Armstrong did, however, set an expedited schedule for the preliminary injunction and granted Rovio’s request for expedited discovery, giving Royal Plush only 14 days to produce certain records relating to its sales of the infringing goods. Even though Rovio won based on Royal Plush’s failure to file an opposition, Armstrong stated that Rovio would have likely won the case either way based on the merits of their case.
“There are no substantial material differences between the overall design of [Rovio's] plush toys and [Royal Plush's] alleged knockoff plush toys,” Armstrong said. “Given the similarity in the products, the court finds that it is likely that consumers would find the works substantially similar.”