Barbie – an individual, just like everyone else.

October 19, 2023

Barbie 1: “Hi Barbie!”

Barbie 2: “Hi Barbie!”

Barbie 3: “Hi Barbie!”

Barbie 4: “Hi Barbie!”

Ken: “Hi Barbie!”

Barbie 1: “Which Barbie, Ken?”

Ken: “I must admit Barbie, that with the vast majority of corporates worldwide riding the Barbiecore trend and covering themselves in pink following the release of your new blockbuster film, which grossed $337 million globally over its opening weekend, it’s a little hard to discern which one of you is which…”

Internationally famous toy company Mattel Inc. launched the original Barbie doll in the USA in March 1959, supported by numerous trade mark applications for inter alia the word mark BARBIE dating as far back as 1958. The Barbie trade mark portfolio consists of thousands of trade marks worldwide and covers the word marks, historical and current stylised versions of the BARBIE word mark as well as the original packaging of the Barbie doll.

One little known fact about the Barbie enterprise is that the original Barbie doll, full name Barbara Millicent Roberts, was based on the German Bild Lilli, which was originally meant as a gag gift to be purchased in tobacco outlets, but grew to be increasingly popular with children. One of the co-founders of Mattel Inc bought the rights to the Bild Lilli doll, securing their position and individuality in the toy market (the majority of children’s dolls at the time focussed on infants) and Barbie was born.

Whether Mattel anticipated just how vast the success of the Barbie doll and surrounding brand would be is unclear. What is clear is that Mattel did anticipate and understand the value in protecting the intellectual property of not only their brand, but their individuality too. Mattel Inc. was successful in differentiating themselves by painting themselves pink and accordingly, clearly defining their space as forerunners in what would soon be a flooded market.

Don’t get lost in the pink abyss, help the “Kens” of the world clearly identify you, and take a leaf out of Mattel Inc’s pink book. Contact the Witz Inc IP team today and let us assist in protecting your individuality.