Come and listen to a story about Miss Elly May
A television icon even to this day
She made the role famous all on her own,
When Mattel stole it, without throwing her a bone.
Misappropriation that is, false endorsement, right of publicity.
Well y’all ought to know ol Mattel’s a millionaire,
Kinfolk said, “Elly you gotta shoot that bear”
Said an IP lawyer is just what you need
To sue Mattel for that darn evil deed.
Lawsuit that is, injunction, damages, and attorney’s fees.
Well now its time to say hello to the judge and his court.
And Elly May will kindly ask ‘em for their support.
In stoppin’ Mattel from a cheatin’ and a stealin’
Her pretty face, with no right or good reason.
Trial that is. Things just started, we’ll keep you posted.
Y’all stay tuned now, y’hear?
For nine seasons actress Donna Douglas played Elly May Clampett on the popular television show ‘Beverly Hillbillies.’ Mattel, maker of the popular Barbie Dolls, sought to capitalize on the fame and recognition ofDouglas’ character by offering a doll designed to look like Elly May. One problem—according to Douglas, Mattel never sought or obtained her permission to use her name and likeness on the dolls.
Hence, Douglas, now 77, has filed a Complaint in her home state ofLouisiana, alleging damages and seeking an injunction as a result of Mattel’s misappropriation of her name and likeness. Louisiana, like many other states, has statutes in place to protect a person’s right of publicity, giving them the right to control the commercial value and exploitation of his/her name, picture, and likeness and to prevent others from unfairly appropriating the value for their commercial benefit.
Mattel denies liability, claiming that they obtained the rights to Beverly Hillbillies for the Elly May product through the appropriate channels.
The case was filed on May 5, 2011, and we will provide updates as we receive them. Y’all stay tuned now, y’hear?
Nicholas D. Myers, Esq.