Mattel, Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions
Mattel, Inc. v. Walking Mountain Prod., et al.,No. 99-8543-RSWL-RZ, slip op. (C.D.Cal. Oct. 11, 2000) (denying preliminary injunction); aff’d by 4 Fed.Appx. 400 (9thCir. 2001); summ. judg. granted, No. 99-8543-RSWL-RZ, slip. op. (C.D.Cal. Aug. 23, 2001); aff’d by 353 F.3d 792 (9th Cir. 2004).
In this important copyright case, Mattel, Inc., the producer of the Barbie doll, sued Walking Mountain Productions forcopyright, trademark, and trade dress infringement for creating photographs of Barbie in humorous and sometimes sexualized positions. Walking Mountain Productions was awarded summary judgment because criticism (such as parody) is a statutorily permitted exception to a creator’s exclusive rights.