January 10, 2007, 12:00 AM

Silverlit sues HobbyTron.com over toy design

Silverlit Toys and its American distributor Spin Master have filed a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement, among other charges, against Hobbytron.com.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Silverlit Manufactory Ltd. and Spin Master Ltd. allege Hobbytron.com is importing and distributing counterfeit remote control helicopters that Silverlit sells under the name “PicooZ.”

Silverlit and its exclusive PicooZ distributor in North America, Spin Master, are represented by the law firm Greenberg Traurig, which has filed a complaint and request for a jury trial in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. The claims against Hobbytron.com include copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin charges. Silverlit and Spin Master are seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Hobbytron.com from distributing what they say are unsafe product knock-offs.

Hobbytron.com is No. 409 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites.

Hobbytron.com, a site managed by Absolute Toy Marketing Inc., declined to comment until it had reviewed the lawsuit. However, the company announced on Monday that it will sell its own branded remote control helicopter, named “Picco 3,” in February.

Hobbytron.com previously purchased and sold authentic Silverlit toy helicopters, Silverlit executives assert, and thus was aware of the company’s copyright and trademark rights. “Nevertheless, it knowingly carried the counterfeit products–confusingly identified as PiccoZ–that also infringed on Silverlit’s packaging and instruction manual,” the suit maintains.

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