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Mattel Sues ISP

Mattel Inc. has filed a trademark infringement suit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, against Internet Host, a Portland, Oregon Internet service provider.

The big toy company accuses Internet Host of registering domains with the intent to trade on the goodwill that Mattel has earned in its Barbie doll products. Internet Host owns 10 domains that include the word barbie, including barbiesplace.com.

"I disagree that they have the right to the name," said Brett Van Buskirk, who, along with his wife, operates Internet Host. Van Buskirk says none of his barbie domains currently have Web sites or are registered with search engines.

"We were going to use it for our girls to showcase their barbie collectibles with their friends, but not to sell anything," he said.

Van Buskirk also strongly denies Mattel's charges that he tried to extort money from the company. Instead, he claims that Mattel has no interest in settling the case. "I told them I'd transfer the domains and eat my legal fees. All I wanted was $70 per domain, which is what it cost us to register them. But [Mattel] refused," he said.

Internet Host has 10 days left to respond to Mattel's suit, and will likely be forced to turn over the domains without a fight, according to Van Buskirk, since the company can not afford legal representation.

Mattel representatives were not available to comment on the suit.

A check of Internic records showed that more than 180 domains include the term "barbie," and most of which are not owned by Mattel.

Earlier this week, Mattel and Intel announced they will co-developed computerized toys, including a speaking Barbie doll that can be plugged into a PC.



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