T.I. & Tiny’s Lawsuit Against Toymaker For Allegedly Copying Likeness Of Daughter’s Former Girl Group Ends In Mistrial Following Testimony Over Racism
A judge has dismissed T.I. and Tiny’s lawsuit against MGA Entertainment!
According to reporter Meghann Cuniff, T.I. and Tiny’s countersuit against toy makers MGA Entertainment, who sued the pair over infringement claims for their popular O.M.G. Dolls, has been dismissed.
The mistrial was announced after jurors heard recorded testimony from a woman who accused the toy company of appropriating the Black community, a subject that was previously ruled inadmissible by the court.
Cuniff took to Twitter to give a breakdown of what occurred today (Jan. 25) in court. She tweeted,
“Jurors in @MGAEnt v. @Tip heard from a woman who said she stopped buying OMG Dolls because “I did not want to support a company that steals from African Americans and their ideas.” Today, a judge declared a mistrial because of it, agreeing with this argument from MGA’s lawyers.”
Jurors in @MGAEnt v. @Tip heard from a woman who said she stopped buying OMG Dolls because “I did not want to support a company that steals from African Americans and their ideas.”
Today, a judge declared a mistrial because of it, agreeing with this argument from MGA’s lawyers. pic.twitter.com/51LXV8gFBO
— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) January 25, 2023
According to legal documents, the court acknowledged the testimony was “improper and unfairly prejudicial.”
According to Cuniff, T.I.’s attorney tried to convince the judge otherwise. The reporter tweeted:
“T.I.’s lawyer Erin Ranahan tried to get Judge Selna to reconsider, saying the testimony wasn’t anything helpful for their case. “We did not want that theme before this jury in particular. This is not Los Angeles. There’s not a single Black person on the jury.” It didn’t work.”
Reportedly, the judge stated:
“I think it’s evident that there were shortcomings on the part of everybody, including the court to get the parties to the point they’re at today…For all the foregoing reasons, I grant a mistrial with reluctance. I think it’s entirely proper and necessary.”
As previously reported, the entertainers launched a countersuit against toy makers MGA Entertainment, who sued the couple over infringement claims for their popular O.M.G. Dolls.
According to reports, Tameka ‘Tiny‘ Harris submitted the countersuit after MGA claimed the group’s likeness was too similar to their doll collection. MGA reportedly cited concern over Clifford ‘T.I.’ Harris’ multiple arrests. Additionally, Harris making a t-shirt of her daughter Zonnique Pullins’ mugshot was cited as well. The music group, comprised of Pullins, sisters Bahja and Lourdes Rodriguez, and rapper Lil Wayne’s daughter Reginae Carter (prior to her departure in 2010), was known for their signature colorful and eccentric style.
Despite similarities to the equally colorful and eccentric toys, Harris noted that the group was started back in 2009, way before the reported 2016 launch of the O.M.G. Dolls
“I was asked by someone if OMG Girlz had dolls available in the store. I told her no and immediately started looking into it and researching the company. I realized that the created O.M.G Dolls had an identical appearance to the OMG Girlz. I couldn’t believe dolls were made in their likeness, and I didn’t know.:
“The dolls’ outfits are what struck me, and that’s how I knew they were infringing on our trademark. One outfit, in particular, stood out to me because I personally designed the outfit for the OMG Girlz’ tour. It wasn’t something that I picked up in the store. So, for their doll to have on the exact outfit, I knew they stole it.”
What are your thoughts on the case being dismissed? Let us know in the comments below!