Posted by Yehuda Berlinger as Modern Board Games
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Judge Dennis Shedd of the Fourth Circuit of Appeals already upheld the earlier decision in an “unpublished” opinion, which means that a) his ruling is not binding, and b) it didn’t require him to give it much thought.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 (27-07-10): Now going to the Supreme Court. (source)
The company name is Super Duper Publications, not Super Duper Games. SuperDuperGames is a online pbem gaming site.
Notice how once, Super Duper looses it’s appeal, that is the Supreme Court declines to here their petition, that the SpeakUpForSay.com website disappears. The Webber’s look for sympathy and rally their customers around the cloak of helping disabled kids, then drop it like a hot potato. Not so much as a “thanks for your support.” What a great company.
SDP has indeed been declined by the Supreme Court, and the support web site has disappeared.
It is important for EVERYONE to look at the actual facts of the case rather than believing statements made by either party during the course of the batte. The “press releases” have not been an honest representation of what was actually going on in the courtroom -LOOK at the court ducuments!
It appears that even the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association had concerns about what Super Duper was trying to get speech-language pathologists to believe. Based on a review of what actually happened in the case, they denied Super Dupers request for an amicus review.’
They asked Super Duper to refrain from making statements that were causing confusion among speech pathologists— “Say” and “and say” are not “off limits”
The response of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is even being posted by other organizations. See the link below: