After being told it can no longer sell its Apple CEO Steve Jobs action figure, M.I.C. Gadget has been ordered to kill off its Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg action figure as well. The lifelike Zuckerberg doll was available for $70 online, but now Facebook has had it banned, just like Apple did for the Jobs doll.
This time around, M.I.C. Gadget made a point to call the action figure the "Poking Inventor" and not "Mark Zuckerberg." It wanted to avoid Facebook getting involved, since Apple threatened it with legal action if it didn't stop selling the Steve Jobs version.
That plan failed. The company received a cease and desist letter from a Beijing law firm representing Facebook and was ordered to do the following:
(1) immediately stopping manufacturing and sales of any products infringing the legitimate rights of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK, including but not limited to the Action Figures, any accessory containing FACEBOOK's trademarks; (2) immediately destroying all remaining products infringing legitimate rights of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK; (3) immediately disclosing the accounting of your sales of the Mark Zuckerberg Action Figures and any other infringing products; (4) immediately remove all depictions or listings for the Mark Zuckerberg Action Figures from your website.
The Poking Inventor doll was molded with Zuckerberg's signature shaggy hair, blue jeans, Adidas flip-flops, and his iconic zip-up brown hooded sweatshirt. The 7-inch toy also came with two buttons and three speech bubbles: you could set the action figure to hold either a Like or Poke button as well as fill in a speech bubble with amusing quotes such as "I invented poking!" to put beside his head with the included transparent stick.
Facebook was rather unhappy that the company broke the following laws: "without the authorization of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK, you have manufactured and sold on your website the Mark Zuckerberg Action Figures to customers globally, which has used Mr. Mark Zuckerberg's portraiture for commercial purpose and infringed his legitimate right. In addition, FACEBOOK's trademark "F" has also been used on these Action Figures, which has also infringed FACEBOOK's trademark right. Your improper act has infringed upon the legitimate rights of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK" and thus "mislead the relevant public into believing that you are an authorized dealer of Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK or you have some relationship with Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK in business and/or in law."
"M.I.C. Gadget hereby apologizes to Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook.Inc, and their Beijing law firm for any inconvenience caused," an M.I.C. Gadget said in a statement. "M.I.C. Gadget hereby clarifies that all of its editors and writers have NO relationship with Mr. Mark Zuckerberg and FACEBOOK in business and/or in law. M.I.C. Gadget had only produced 300 Poking Inventor action figures, and there are no more stock on our hands. The figurine is discontinued, and will not appear on Earth anymore. Upon Facebook’s request, we will stop the marketing and sale of the figurine."
M.I.C. Gadget has had some bad luck with its custom dolls, and its lost sales are a little unfortunate. Somehow we think the company will do just fine, however, thanks to all the media attention.