Harris Faulkner, an anchor on Fox News, has filed a lawsuit against Hasbro in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, charging that a "Pet Pawsabilities" plastic hamster toy was named after her and harms her "professional reputation."
The $5 million lawsuit accuses Hasbro of using Faulkner's name on the toy for financial gain, according to NBC News
. Faulkner is a six-time Emmy Award-winning anchor on "Fox News Weekend."
"Harris Faulkner, the uniquely named, acclaimed veteran journalist and author, has worked for decades to establish and maintain her personal brand and laudable professional reputation," the federal suit states.
"Without Faulkner's prior knowledge or consent . . . Hasbro, Inc., a multi-billion dollar toy company, willfully and wrongfully appropriated Faulkner's unique and valuable name and distinctive persona for its own financial gain — by creating, manufacturing, and distributing for sale a plastic toy hamster named 'Harris Faulkner' as part of Hasbro's 'Littlest Pet Shop' product line," the lawsuit continues.
Faulkner said that she "put Hasbro on notice" when the toy giant introduced the "Harris Faulkner" hamster in 2014 and, while it is no longer listed on the Hasbro website, it can still be purchased on Amazon and other sites, the New York Post reported
"Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll includes a 'TM' symbol after Faulkner's name which, according to the packaging's language, falsely signifies that Hasbro claims a United States trademark interest in Faulkner's name, when it in fact owns no such interest, registered or otherwise," Faulkner's suit states.
Dominic Patten, of Deadline.com, said Harris Faulkner's name
is unique enough that it may be tough for Hasbro to come up with a reasonable explanation.
"Let's be honest — Harris Faulkner is not the most common name around and the journalist has been in the public eye for many years before Hasbro introduced the toy as part of its Littlest Pet Shop line back in 2014," Patten wrote.
"Well into the summer the toy was available for purchase off Hasbro's online store — which might be of additional interest to you if you are a Terri Bowman or Dash McDernutt," Patten added.
The Littlest Pet Shop toys, which have been included in McDonald’s Happy Meals, are one of Hasbro's most internationally successful brand toys.
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