Super Duper Publications, whose story about losing a trademark dispute against Mattel we already covered, is appealing to the fourth circuit court of appeals in their grim-looking fight to stay alive.

To summarize: SD makes speech and language therapy products, and registered trademarks for their Fold and Say, Speak and Say, and so on books for seventeen years, before Mattel finally sued them and won a trademark suit against them, claiming that all of their products were riding on Mattel’s 1963 game Speak ‘N Say. Mattel didn’t try to prove any actual confusion in the marketplace, or any damages, but Super Duper was forced to destroy all of their catalogs, rename many of their products, and fork over $3 million, essentially ending the company.

One particularly juicy statement I love from source: Mattel’s lawyers argued that Super Duper’s Snakes and Ladders game was riding on the coattails of the proprietary game Chutes and ladders. I kid you not. Were the jury such complete ignoramuses to not know that the game Chutes and Ladders is based on the centuries old game Snakes and Ladders from India? Welcome to 1984. (source)

Judge Dennis Shedd of the Fourth Circuit of Appeals already upheld the earlier decision in an “unpublished” opinion, which means that a) his ruling is not binding, and b) it didn’t require him to give it much thought. Super Duper has asked for a full review, and intends to take it to the Supreme Court if they fail in the lower court. Totally off-topic, Frank Hollerman, Mattel’s lawyer, is running for South Carolina Democratic Superintendent of Education. Because “our children deserve the best”. [Note: Removed another totally off-topic note about the judge.]

There is a support site for Super Duper called SpeakUpForSay.

Update: Mattel responds to some consumers with questions about the case. And another source with more info.

Update (27-07-10): Now going to the Supreme Court. (source)