News Sanrio Sues Over 'Theft' of Animated Hello Kitty, Flint
posted on 2012-08-04 13:30 EDT by Lynzee Loveridge
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.
Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.
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.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history