Spin Master moves to sue Mattel over use of Bakugan toys mechanism

Spin Master is seeking compensation from Mattel over the alleged use of the Canadian company’s patented mechanism in Mattel’s Mecard transformable toys.

The Toronto-based company’s claim – filed on Tuesday – asks a US district court to recognise the validity of its patents and seeks an injunction preventing Mattel from the further use of the patented system.

Spin Master is now in a high stakes battle to defend its rights to the patented mechanism used in its popular Bakugan transforming robot.

The firm is also asking for unspecified compensation for losses that it claims will result from Mattel’s launch of the Mecard toys.

“Spin Master will suffer and is suffering irreparable harm from Mattel’s infringement of Spin Master’s patents due to, among other things, lost business opportunities, lost market share, and price erosion,” read court documents.

Mattel has not filed a response to the allegations with the court and has yet to reply to requests for comment.

Spin Master’s Bakugan toys were launched in 2007 in conjunction with a Japanese-Canadian anime series called Bakugan Battle Brawlers and, according to the company’s claim, global sales reached more than $1bn.

Last year, Spin Master announced plans to refresh the Bakugan brand, with a reboot of the anime series slated for release in 2019/20.

Spin Master claims that Mattel launched the Mecard line of transforming toys in the US in late March or early April this year, although the toy line and associated anime series were available earlier in South Korea.

Spin Master alleges that the Mecard toys infringe on at least two US patents, one issued in 2013 and the other issued this year in January. None of Spin Master’s claims have been proven in court.

Spin Master also filed a similar suit in February against Alpha Group, alleging that its Screechers Wild! Line of transformable toys infringes on one of its patents.  

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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