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Sanrio Sues Over 'Theft' of Animated Hello Kitty, Flint

posted on 2012-08-04 13:30 EDT
Unknown "Does 1-50" allegedly took possession, exploited programming of 2 characters

Sanrio, the owner of the character Hello Kitty, filed a lawsuit on Friday against unknown "Does 1 through 50" for attempting to profit off its animated Hello Kitty and Flint The Time Detective programming.

Sanrio claims that the defendants, all of whom are Los Angeles County residents, "obtained possession of copies" of the programming and attempted to control and profit off of the copies "in or about 1999." According to Sanrio, the defendants are still exploiting the properties now.

Sanrio noticed the the issue during an August 15, 2011 during a financial review. Sanrio's American arm is filing the lawsuit on behalf of Sanrio Japan.

There have been several animated Hello Kitty titles over the past several decades. Most recently, the North American anime distributor AnimEigo released Growing Up With Hello Kitty (Hello Kitty to Issho), two anime volumes that each contains "6 entertaining stories that teach young children important basic life lessons," this year.

Fox Kids aired the Flint The Time Detective (Jikū Tantei Genshi-kun) anime in 2000, and The Right Stuf International released the anime on VHS and DVD later that year.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.

Source: Deadline

Images © Sanrio

Update: According to the suit filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Sanrio claims that the defendants handled the properties as their own and marketed the programming, all while concealing their activities from Sanrio Japan. Sanrio requested a jury trial for damages equal to or exceeding $25,000.


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