In this case, not paying attention to the details can be costly.
On Jan. 5, legal reporter Meghann Cuniff disclosed details involving rapper T.I. and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, as they move forward in an intellectual property suit on behalf of the former girl rap group, OMG Girlz.
The OMG Girlz
Court documents shared by Cuniff state that Grand Hustle (T.I.) and Pretty Hustle (Tiny) formed the group OMG Girlz in 2009.
As the documents describe, the group consisted of “three Black women” that “they named the ‘OMG Girlz:'”
Zonnique Pullins (Miss Star)
Bahja Rodriguez (Miss Beauty)
Breaunna Womack (Miss Babydoll)
In a previous interview with Forbes published in April 2022, Tiny revealed how she discovered the similarity between the girl group members and the L.O.L. Surprise! dolls, which are manufactured by MGA Entertainment.
“I was asked by someone if OMG Girlz had dolls available in the store. I told her no and immediately started looking into it and researching the company,” Tiny told the outlet. “I realized that the created L.O.L. Surprise! dolls had an identical appearance to the OMG Girlz. I couldn’t believe dolls were made in their likeness, and I didn’t know.”
Furthermore, Tiny also gave reasoning for her claims of why the dolls are an infringement on their trademark.
“The dolls’ outfits are what struck me, and that’s how I knew they were infringing on our trademark. One outfit, in particular, stood out to me because I personally designed the outfit for the OMG Girlz’ tour,” she recalled. “It wasn’t something that I picked up in the store. So, for their doll to have on the exact outfit, I knew they stole it.”
After her initial cease and desist was met with a lawsuit filed by doll creator Isaac Larian, Tiny revealed that she had no other choice but to take the argument to the court.
“We were initially excited because the L.O.L. Dolls are a big deal and thought maybe we could work something out. I sat with my lawyer and decided to send a cease and desist,” said Harris to Forbes at the time. “They immediately sued me. They didn’t respond or try to sit down and talk. So, I countersued.”
At this time, the demand for a jury trial has reportedly been filed, according to court documents obtained and shared by Cuniff.
What’s more, the lawsuit alleges that the company has been using the former group’s image and likeness to sell dozens of dolls.
“I heard today there will be 31 dolls at issue in trial,” Cuniff noted in an extensive Twitter thread surrounding details of the forthcoming case. “An MGA lawyer says that means there will be 31 mini trials, as the creative origins of each doll are explored in full.”