The couple sued the toymaker for allegedly stealing the doll’s likeness and image from the pop group OMG Girlz which was founded by Tiny.
MGA went to court last year to obtain sole possession of trademark rights to its L.O.L. Surprise! doll brand after the Harris’ sent the company a cease-and-desist letter. The case was then taken back to court after the couple countersued, with that matter ending in a mistrial.
Now a jury of eight in Santa Ana, California, has sided with the toymakers after two hours of deliberation. In court, they ruled that MGA Entertainment did not misappropriate the likeness of the OMG Girlz with their 31 dolls or infringe on trade dress on May 26.
OMG Girlz disbanded in 2015, and included the couple’s daughter, Zonnique Pullins, sisters Bahja and Lourdes Rodriguez as well as Reginae Carter. The group downsized to three after Lourdes left the group; in addition, Carter was replaced by Breaunna Womack.
T.I. and Tiny argued that the toymaker stole the group’s image and likeness by copying the group’s colorful hairstyles and outfits. They alleged that MGA specifically copied OMG Girlz’ look from a New Year’s Eve show from 2017.
The jury reportedly believed the doll’s designers, Lora Stephens and Blanche Consorti, who testified that they did not copy the group while designing the doll line.
Following the verdict, the rapper and actor said he was “proud of the girls” and his wife, as well as his law team for coming together to fight the toymakers.
“You can’t just lay down and take it,” said T.I. “If you see, feel, believe and know for a fact that your intellectual property has been infringed upon, that your rights have been violated, you go through whatever means you can to take it as far as you can to defend yourself, your honor and protect your rights. That’s strength.”
He continued, “I’m not discouraged because I know from which my blessings come. And with or without that, we gonna be straight.”
The Jasmine Brand shared the latest news about the case on Instagram, where many in their comments section expressed how unsatisfied they were with the verdict.
“No!!! How is the world could any non-biased jury not see how the dolls are a direct rip-off? I hope they dont give up, maybe they can try in a different state?”
“Highway robbery. If we see the resemblance they definitely do!”
“They should have won that.”
“They need another jury & file an appeal. They copy & paste the Omg Girlz period.”
MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian accused the “Bugatti” singer and Tiny of attempting to extort the toymaker by filing the lawsuit.
“I’m not happy because I wasted a lot of time, energy — my employees’ time, energy — to deal with an extortion. They knew from the beginning they don’t have a case, and they brought it anyways. And they picked on the wrong guy,” Larian said, adding he was “going to go buy a yellow dress and color my hair pink” to celebrate the win.
Larian also said he plans to request the couple pay his attorney’s fees, which could be “millions of dollars.”
While OMG Girlz broke up eight years ago, fans are excited about a possible reunion after they recently dropped a teaser video featuring new music on social media.
“Y’all been patient long enough!! It’s about that time #LoverBoy #OMGONERRRTHANG,” read the caption on Instagram. The short clip features Zonnique, Breaunna and Bahja in the studio while a few seated outside the booth cheer in excitement.