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Intellectual Property Law

‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Actress Files Suit Against Mattel Over ‘Elly May Barbie’

Posted May 5, 2011 5:35 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Actress Donna Douglas, who played buxom, none-too-bright Elly May Clampett on the 1960s television hit The Beverly Hillbillies, has filed a federal lawsuit against Mattel Inc., over the toymaker's new "Elly May Barbie" doll.

Although she never gave permission, the packaging for the doll uses a photo of her in character and Mattel promotional material says the Barbie "captures the essence of the classic '60s TV character and show," Douglas contends in the suit. Filed in U.S. District Court in Louisiana, where Douglas lives, it says the marketing makes unauthorized use of the "name, likeness images and attributes" of "a character closely identified with her," reports CNN.

It seeks damages for alleged violations of her right to publicity and control of her public image, among other claims.

Mattel did not respond to requests for comment from CNN.

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