A snack company founded by a Philadelphia native is being sued by Mattel for trademark infringement in federal court.
In the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, attorneys for Mattel claim Rap Snacks “made the deliberate and calculated choice to launch a new product line using Mattel’s famous BARBIE trademark.”
The snack in question is the “Barbie-Que” Honey Truffle bag of chips featuring Nicki Minaj.
In the lawsuit, Mattel attorneys say Rap Snacks never requested or was granted permission to reference Barbie on its products. Mattel says the snack company engaged in a massive marketing campaign including “a New York City billboard, promotional potato chip giveaways at a music festival in New Orleans, an exclusive article announcing the launch in People magazine, and continual posts and videos across multiple social media platforms including, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.”
The toy company alleges once it received word about the product, it reached out to Rap Snacks about the situation, but they proceeded to continue using the Barbie trademark on the product.
The lawsuit claims Rap Snacks CEO and Philadelphia-native James Lindsay filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the word “BARBIE-QUE.”
Mattel is seeking damages caused by the release of the product as well as any profits generated from the “Barbie-Que” chips.
The Rap Snacks line of products includes many collaborations with rappers including Lil Baby, Migos, and Rick Ross.
WHYY has reached out to both Mattel and Rap Snacks for further comments.