LOS ANGELES (CN) – The owner of the rights to “Godzilla” claims Tuffzilla dog chew toys infringe on its copyrights.
Toho Co. released “Gojira,” Japanese for Godzilla, in Japan in 1954, followed by the stateside version, “Godzilla, King of the Monsters,” in 1956. Toho is also responsible for the movie’s 27 sequels and an avalanche of related toys, books and video games.
The company accuses VIP Products of cashing in on years of creative efforts and advertising expenses.
Toho particularly objects to VIP’s use of the suffix “-zilla.” It says the toy is not just any dinosaur, as VIP makes other toys explicitly modeled after T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Pterodactyl and Triceratops dinosaurs.
VIP marketed Tuffzilla with rhetoric reminiscent of the movie’s plotline, according to the federal complaint.
“He is a GIGANTIC Toy!! For decades the legendary Tuffzilla has ravaged village, towns, and cities alike,” VIP allegedly says on its website. “This unstoppable force was known worldwide. No one has been able to tame this terrible beast.”
Toho seeks damages and an order barring VIP from making and selling Tuffzilla.
Charles Shephard of Greenburg Glusker Fields is representing Toho.