By Gene Johnson Associated Press
SEATTLE — A Seattle artist who designed a line of plush toys for pets called “Angry Birds” is suing the company that sold them, saying it cheated her of millions of dollars when it reached a deal with the Finnish company that makes the insanely popular videogame of the same name.
Juli (JOO’-lee) Adams designed her pet toy line for The Hartz Mountain Corporation of New Jersey in 2006.
The addictive “Angry Birds” videogame launched in 2009. Adams’ lawsuit says game-maker Rovio Entertainment wanted to market plush toys for dogs and cats based on the game, but it couldn’t because Adams already had the U.S. trademark for “Angry Birds” pet toys.
She says Hartz apparently leveraged her trademark to persuade Rovio to grant it exclusive rights to sell pet toys based on the videogame characters.
Hartz did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.