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.