Lionsgate Files Lawsuit Against Alleged Counterfeiter
Lionsgate is suing a number of different parties affiliated with the company Yagoozon which is alleged to have been selling counterfeit and inferior versions of the Mockingjay Pin. Lionsgate owns the copyright of the mockingjay and the flaming mockingjay symbol and has also applied for patents on both. The production and selling of the replica Mockingjay Pin, based upon the one Katniss wears in the film, has been licensed by Lionsgate to NECA.
Yagoozon attempted to purchase licensed Hunger Games merchandise from NECA and were refused. An email (included in Exhibit F of the 160 page document) sent by Yagoozon claimed that NECA was violating anti-trust laws and believed:
“… it is flagrantly unlawful that almost everyone of our competition is selling an item that we have to sign a disclaimer to not sell in the same venue… It seems we are the only ones of our competition left out of this “exclusive” or at least the only ones of our competition not carrying these Hunger Games products.”
Lionsgate and NECA found Yagoozon’s threat of legal action “unfounded and merit-less” and once again reaffirmed their decision not to sell merchandise to the company. After this refusal, Lionsgate claims in the lawsuit that the company had learned that Yagoozon was then selling counterfeit, unlicensed versions (with copyrighted images) believed to have been sold to them by Chinese company Sino Creation. These products were designed to be:
“… virtually identical to NECA’s Lions Gate-authorized Mockingjay Pin and packaging in a clear attempt to deceive consumers into believing that the counterfeit Mockingjay Pin was an authentic Lions Gate-licensed, NECA-produced Mockingjay Pin when, in fact, it was not.”
Lionsgate states that the alleged counterfeit pin is of inferior quality to NECA’s product and the attempt to present it as a genuine product would discourage prospective customers of Lionsgate authorized merchandise:
“Additionally, purchasers of [Yagoozon's] counterfeit Mockingjay Pin now wrongfully associate Lions Gate with [Yagoozon's] inferior product.”