Harmony Gold Sues Hasbro over SDCC 2013 Jetfire Skystriker

SDCC-GI-Joe-Transformers-2013-1_1372153156

Courthouse News reports that Harmony Gold, owners of the Robotech IP and by extension Macross in the USA, have filed a complaint that Hasbro’s recent SDCC 2013 exclusive G.I. Joe VS Transformers Skystriker Jetfire has infringed on their IP. The action, submitted to the US District Court, seeks injunctive relief and damages from Hasbro.

The action against Hasbro by Harmony Gold originates with the earliest origins of the Autobot Jetfire and the US licensing rights of the series from which his toy originated, Macross. Hasbro in 1984 licensed the VF-1 Valkyrie toy for use in Transformers as Jetfire, while during the same period, Harmony Gold licensed the rights to Macross from Tatsunako, including merchandising rights. This was one reason, in the original Generation 1 Transformers cartoon, for Jetfire featuring a much different design on screen and being phased out of the series early in the second season.

What Harmony Gold alleges is that Hasbro’s G.I. Joe VS Transformers Jetfire Skystriker toy infringes upon Harmony Gold’s rights to the marketing of Macross, including merchandising rights, outside of Japan, based on the resemblance of the toy to the Veritech VF-1 Valkyrie. They allege that the SDCC exclusive toy has caused, and continues to cause, financial damage to their company. As a result Harmony Gold are seeking the withdrawal of the G.I. Joe VS Transformers Jetfire Skystriker toy from sale, seizure of all remaining stock (including Hasbro to “recall from any person or entity known to them who purchased or received… any unauthorized toys or other products based on [Harmony Gold’s] copyrighted works”), Hasbro to pay all profits made on the set to Harmony Gold, in addition to damages, legal fees and “exemplary damages in an amount sufficient amount to punish and make a public example of Hasbro, and deter wrongful conduct in future”.

Short version for those who do not wish to read the long wall of text: Harmony Gold is taking action in the courts against Hasbro due to the resemblance of the G.I. Joe VS Transformers Jetfire Skystriker, and what they are seeking is:
1) Remaining toys to be removed from sale;
2) Unsold stock to be turned over to them (& a possible recall);
3) Lots of $ in damages.

View the original report on Courthouse News here, and a copy of the complaint lodged with the United States District Court here.

Discussion / Comments (Jump to this Thread on the Boards)

  1. Shatterpoint's Avatar Shatterpoint says

    So is Harmony Gold suing over Jetfire or GI Joe vs Transformers?

    The article seems to imply the latter...

  2. Ra88's Avatar Ra88 says

    For a moment I thought this would be about Whirl's gerwalk mode.

    Interesting situation though.

  3. OptmiusPrime's Avatar OptmiusPrime says

    The court filing is stupid. Yes i definitely can see how damaging it could be for someone to release a toy resembling a character from a tv show that has not been relevant for 3 decades. This is just a money grab pure and simple.

  4. OptmiusPrime's Avatar OptmiusPrime says

    Honestly i dont even think sdcc jetfire looks anything close to robotech

  5. Ra88's Avatar Ra88 says

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OptmiusPrime View Post
    Honestly i dont even think sdcc jetfire looks anything close to robotech
    Both vehicles are based on the same jet and have the same kind of pack attached to it. And it's made in likeness of a G1 character, NOT the cartoon version, but specifically the toy one....Which WAS a Macross/Robotech valkyrie.

    They've got grounds to fight this on.

    What remains to be seen now is how Hasbro defends themselves, but they should be able to win fairly easily. It's not an exact replica and it's made in the likeness of their own G1 character which WAS used legally, and is not meant to tie in to it's parent property.

  6. Dolza_Khyron has no avatar! Dolza_Khyron says

    does harmony gold even own any copyright licensing for macross? i mean, when they did that robotech movie. they avoiding using ANYTHING from macross.

  7. OptmiusPrime's Avatar OptmiusPrime says

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ra88 View Post
    Both vehicles are based on the same jet and have the same kind of pack attached to it. And it's made in likeness of a G1 character, NOT the cartoon version, but specifically the toy one....Which WAS a Macross/Robotech valkyrie.

    They've got grounds to fight this on.

    What remains to be seen now is how Hasbro defends themselves, but they should be able to win fairly easily. It's not an exact replica and it's made in the likeness of their own G1 character which WAS used legally, and is not meant to tie in to it's parent property.
    if anything, Hasbro releasing a G1 Jetfire reissue would probably do generate more interest in Robotech than anything Harmony Gold has done in a while. Harmony Gold should BEG Hasbro to do this because they've done nothing but take a crap with the Robotech license

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