Mattel Inc., the company behind various popular toys such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher Price and more, is suing the creators behind Rap Snacks over their latest celebrity-inspired bag of chips created in collaboration with Nicki Minaj.
Per court documents filed over the weekend, and provided to Reuters, Mattel alleges that Rap Snacks launched the new line of “Barbie-Que” Honey Truffle Potato Chips—which depicts the word “Barbie” in its signature font and a of picture of Minaj wearing pink and a “Barbie” chain necklace—without its “authorization and prior knowledge.”
They also claim that the “blatant and intentional use of Mattel’s trademark” will cause consumers to associate Rap Snacks products with Mattel and its Barbie brand, and that “false association is enhanced even further” by the snack company’s “use of imagery and colors that are associated with the Barbie brand.”
Mattel goes on to say that once they were made aware of this usage, they “immediately engaged” with Rap Snacks in an attempt to resolve the matter but to no avail. They claim that the suit is the “last resort to protect its rights and prevent further consumer confusion.” They are seeking “judgment, damages and injunctive relief for Defendant’s willful infringement of Mattel’s famous BARBIE trademark,” unfair competition and false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and unfair competition. They’re also seeking attorneys’ fees and costs herein, as well as “an accounting of Rap Snacks’ profits resulting from its decision to infringe Mattel’s trademark.”
Minaj herself is not listed as a defendant in the suit.
It’s no secret that Minaj has long used the moniker of Barbie to describe herself over the years. She even released a song titled “Barbie Tingz” in 2018, a popular single off her Queen album. What will be interesting to see, given this new suit now, will be if she’ll have to refrain from using it moving forward unless she signs some sort of agreement to represent the brand in an official capacity and if so, how that will play out with regard to future products, deals, and merchandise.
Neither Mattel or Rap Snacks have commented on the news of this new suit.