Hasbro fights back against Fox anchor over toy hamsterReprints
The miniature toy hamster that has been sued for $5 million by Fox News journalist Harris Faulkner for allegedly impersonating the anchorwoman is back in court.
Hasbro Inc. filed for a motion to dismiss the claim of violation of the reporter's right of publicity Oct. 26 in New Jersey district court, but not her other two claims for direct and contributory false endorsement, news reports said.
“Other than the fact that the toy has the name 'Harris Faulkner,' Hasbro's Littlest Pet Shop hamster shares nothing in common with the reporter,” said lawyers who filed for Hasbro. The tiny plastic hamster is one of the hundreds of members of The Littlest Pet Shop toy collection sold by the toy company. Other examples of human sounding names used for the toy pets are “Zoe Trent” and “Madame Pom Leblanc,” while other names used are nonhuman, such as “Monkey in a Cowboy Boot.”
Ms. Faulkner claims the toy hamster makes “prominent and unauthorized use of her name” and bears a resemblance to her professional appearance. However, a side-by-side comparison of the two in court documents shows the two bear no resemblance.
“Mere use of a person's name is not enough to establish a claim for right of publicity and in recognizing this truth, Ms. Faulkner has attempted to prove the inch-tall hamster toy looks like her,” Hasbro's lawyers said, with the toy makerrequesting the court to do its own comparison of the two.
“Ms. Faulkner is an adult, African-American, human, female newscaster, and the hamster toy is an inch-tall, cartoon-like plastic animal, which has no apparent gender or profession, or even clothing that might identify its gender or profession,” Hasbro lawyers said.
Hasbro has requested a Dec. 21 hearing for oral arguments before the New Jersey Court on its motion to defend the 0.8-inch inch plastic hamster.