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Harmony Gold bars Macross Imports

posted on 2002-04-16 18:56 EDT
Harmony Gold continues to enforce their zero imports policy

Harmony Gold's Legal department has struck again, demanding that Anime Toy Merchant Blasto Toys cease importing Macross merchandise and deliver all their current Macross related stock to Harmony Gold.

Despite the fan backlash and disaproval of their tactics, Harmony Gold does indeed own exclusive worldwide (except Japan) rights to the Macross Property and are within their rights to block commercial "grey market" importations.

This isn't the first time Harmony Gold has made similar demands to an independant North American importer, in November 2000 Harmony Gold very politely requested that Valkyrie Exchange stop taking international pre-orders for Macross Toys. Since then there have numerous reports of other instances where Harmony Gold has enforced its trademark with letters from their lawyers.

Recent legal issues in Japan have brought speculation into the status Harmony Gold's complete ownership of the Macross trademark, but Harmony Gold has stated that the Japanese legal fight does not relate to Harmony Gold in any manner. As long as the Japanese Trademark owners do not directly contest Harmony Gold's trademark the company can continue to enforce its ownership of the International rights.

The exact letter delivered to Blasto Toys by Harmony Gold's legal counsel is as follows:

"Dear Mr. James:

We are litigation counsel to Harmony Gold. For many years Harmony Gold has owned certain exclusive rights in and to the television series MACROSS throughout the world (excluding Japan)(the "Harmony Gold Territory"). Harmony Gold's exclusive rights extend, without limitation, to the distribution of the Macross television series and the right to create and authorize the sale of merchandise based on such series.

We understand that your company has obtained certain MACROSS toys from one or more companies that are not authorized to sell MACROSS merchandise in the Harmony Gold Territory and that you intend to sell, or are already selling, such merchandise to the public. Any sale or offer to sell such merchandise constitutes a violation of Harmony Gold's rights under US copyright law.

Demand is hereby made that you cease and desist from any further efforts to advertise, publicize or ofer for sale any Macross merchandise unless such merchandise was sold or delivered to you by HG or an authorized licensee of Harmony Gold. We also demand that you identify the person or entity from whom or from which you purport to have obtained such merchandise along with any other pertinent details.

Demand is further made that you: (1) deliver any and all merchandise currently in your possession or under your control to Harmony Gold; and (2) provide Harmony Gold with written assurance that you will comply with the demands contained herein.

If we do not receive a satisfactory response by close of business on April 19, 2002, we will pursue our rights to the fullest extent allowed by law.

This letter is not intended to be a complete recitation of all the facts or law relevant to this matter. All of Harmony Gold's rights and remedies are reserved.

Very truly yours,

GAIMS, WEIL, WEST, & EPSTEIN, LLP

Marc Epstein"

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