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Ty, Inc. v. GMA Accessories, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
132 F.3d 1167 (1997)


Facts

Ty, Incorporated (Ty) (plaintiff) manufactured the Beanie Baby stuffed animals. The line of stuffed animals included a pig named Squealer and a cow named Daisy. GMA Accessories, Incorporated (GMA) (defendant) produced a competing line of small stuffed animals. Included in GMA’s line of stuffed animals were a pig called Preston the Pig and a cow called Louie the Cow. Ty sued GMA under the Copyright Act and obtained a preliminary injunction against GMA’s continued sale of Preston the Pig and Louie the Cow. GMA submitted a picture of Squealer and Preston side by side. The version of Preston pictured was a version that had a manufacturing defect that made it appear less like Squealer than the version normally sold. Additionally, the angle of the picture incorrectly made the stuffed animals appear to be different lengths. Also, the picture showed Preston with a ribbon around its neck, but the ribbon was not included in the retail version. The pictured version of Preston was similar to the design initially submitted to GMA by Janet Salmon, the stuffed animal’s designer, rather than the version ultimately put into production. GMA appealed the injunction as to Preston, but not as to Louie the Cow.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, C.J.)

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