Nicki Minaj has become known for having a ride-or-die fanbase, “the Barbies” — also known as “the Barbz.” To honor her loyal supporters, Rap Snacks partnered with the Harajuku Barbie in June for her own edition of Rap Snacks, The Barbie-Que Honey Truffle Potato Chips, as previously reported by AfroTech.
“Nicki Minaj is unquestionably one of the most disruptive forces in the history of rap. You’re talking about a woman who rewrote the rules of hip hop culture and happens to be a phenomenal entrepreneur, as well,” Rap Snacks CEO James Lindsay said in a release at the time of the launch, according to PEOPLE. “It just makes sense that as a brand disrupting the snack industry, we align to push the bar even further. This is the beginning of a legendary partnership.”
But it appears that what started as “legendary” has turned into a legal battle.
Rap Snacks Is Served A Lawsuit
Reuters reports that Mattel Inc. has sued Rap Snacks for Nicki Minaj’s branded chips.
The company is requesting for the Los Angeles federal court to ban Rap Snacks from using “Barbie” because it violates “Mattel’s trademark rights in the famous Barbie doll.” Additionally, Mattel claims that Rap Snacks didn’t have permission to use its trademarks from the start and that suing was done “as a last resort” due to its refusal to stop using “Barbie.”
Now, Mattel wants to receive the profits from the chips’ sales.
Inside The Mattel Trademark Battle
“The association is so evident that upon seeing the packaging, representatives for Defendant’s celebrity partner queried whether Rap Snacks had obtained permission from Mattel,” the lawsuit said, according to reports. “Indeed, Rap Snacks never requested or received any such permission.”
As the company sells its own snack foods under the name, it stated that it would spark confusion.
Will Nicki Minaj Be Held At Fault In Mattel v. Rap Snacks?
The report discloses that Minaj is not a defendant in the lawsuit.
In 2011, the rapper partnered with El Segundo, California-based Mattel on a doll for charity.