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A Few of the Most Famous Intellectual Property Disputes Over the Years

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In 1790, it only cost about $5 to obtain a patent. Unfortunately it's a little bit more expensive in 2016, but that's not all. Patent law and intellectual property law have gotten more complex over the years, not to mention caused their fair share of lawsuits.

While the majority of intellectual property lawyers deal with serious cases, there are some ridiculous lawsuits out there. Here are a few of the weirdest in recent years.

S. Victor Whitmill vs. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

S. Victor Whitmill is the tattoo artist responsible for Mike Tyson's signature facial art. When Warner Bros. released "The Hangover Part II" and featured that same art on one of the characters, Whitmill filed a lawsuit against the entertainment giant, claiming intellectual property theft. His art had been copyrighted with the help of patent law specialists in 2008, which meant Warner Bros. was infringing on it. The two parties eventually settled the case and the movie was released as planned.

Mattel Inc. vs. MGA Entertainment Inc.

The names Cloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin all became famous when they were put to the faces of MGA Entertainment's Bratz Dolls. Not long afterwards, Mattel Inc. released the MyScene dolls, which MGA claimed were copied from the Bratz design. The two companies went back and forth several times, but MGA eventually won the intellectual property dispute, discovering that Mattel had indeed stolen trade secrets.

Adidas America Inc. vs. Payless Shoesource Inc.

Adidas and Payless Shoesource began their dispute in 1994. The initial lawsuit was over the three stripes that identify Adidas brand shoes. Payless has been selling similar models with either two or four stripes, which Adidas didn't agree with. The two companies reached a settlement in 2001, but the dispute rose up again after Payless started selling the copycat shoes again. The trial lasted about seven years, and eventually ended with Payless having to pay more to Adidas - over $300 million.

Patent law specialists and patent attorneys may face strange cases like these in their careers. There are patents for just about everything under the sun, so disputes are bound to happen in many cases.

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