Mark Rice d/b/a Games to Remember Initiates Three Suits, Asserting Infringement of Funky Monkeys® Trademark
In addition to his creativeness and entrepreneurial skills, Mr. Rice demonstrates in his pro se complaints a comfort with legalese and statutory citations going far beyond those normally associated with authors of rules for children’s games. With these three suits Mr. Rice is seeking to limit commercial Funky Monkeys in the U.S. environment to the particular species he created in 1998.
The FUNKY MONKEYS board game is marketed nationally and has been sold for more than a decade at major retailers, including Sears and FAO Schwartz, according to the complaints. The board game box appears below:
In the suit against Flipo, Mr. Rice identified the “Crazy Critters Freddie the Funky Monkey,” which was being offered for sale for $19.95. In preparing this blog post and viewing the Flipo website, it appears that Freddie has undergone a name change, as shown from the reproduction from the Flipo website shown below:
In addition to this name change, the price for the apparently identical Smiling Chimp product has been raised 50%.
Similarly, in the suit against Designed 2B Sweet Inc., Mr. Rice identified a web page listing “Inflatable Funky Monkey Lollipop Toys” (12 for $17.99) as infringing his trademark. For those of you not familiar with inflatable lollipop toys, a visit to www.designed2bsweet.com could be educational. In a remarkable coincidence, Designed 2B Sweet has also altered the name of its product (but not the price) as shown in the picture from its website shown below:
The cases, each filed on October 26 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, and each assigned to Chief U.S. District Judge Julie E. Carnes, are: