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Licensing Legal Dispute Ended By Settlement

Two toy companies have peacefully resolved their licensing dispute after the parties recently obtained a ruling in court.

The two companies have released a joint statement saying in part, “GennComm LLC (“GennComm”) and Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company (“BHTB”) are pleased to announce that they have reached a mutually satisfactory resolution of long-pending intellectual property disputes concerning the design, use, and ownership to certain memory foam in plush toys, including Squeezamals.”

GenComm and BHTB were locked in a court battle beginning March 26, 2020, which concluded with a ruling from Judge Cormac J. Carney.

The court summary declared that “BHTB’s claims for declaratory relief are dismissed with prejudice, GennComm’s counterclaims for breach of contract are dismissed with prejudice … (and) Judgment is entered for GennComm on its counterclaim for infringement.”

Carney ruled that BHTB will pay to GennComm a lump sum of $420,000 (the “Reasonable Royalty”) for its infringement of GennComm’s Patents through April 28, 2020, with $150,000 of that amount paid no later than January 4, 2021, another $37,500 paid no later than February 15, 2021, and the remainder paid in monthly installments of $9,300/month for 25 months on the first day of each month starting on March 1, 2021.

Gencomm explained the case from their perspective, saying, “GennComm is the owner of certain patents relating to memory foam in plush toys. GennComm’s patented technology was developed by GennComm’s ImaGENNation team, with Jeremy Medwed as inventor. In 2018, BHTB introduced its successful Squeezamals® product line featuring a unique look and feel, which earned the 2018 Toy of the Year in Plush Award from leading specialty toy retailer, Learning Express.”

While the case was concluded, it did not resolve the main issue, that being the need for BHTB to continue marketing its successful line of toys, and GennComm’s desire to successfully license its technology. “As part of the parties’ agreement,” the joint statement says, “GennComm has licensed its patents to BHTB on a non-exclusive basis. The parties are relieved to put the past behind them and are anxious to move forward with a productive on-going relationship.”

Financial details of the settlement were not disclosed.

GennComm is a global marketing communications agency founded by consumer products industry veteran, Genna Rosenberg. Since its inception in 2012, Team GennComm have been trusted advisors and storytellers for many of the world’s largest toy and entertainment brands, including  SpongeBob SquarePants, Pokémon, Cabbage Patch Kids, Teddy Ruxpin, 5 Surprise Mini Brands and Subway Surfers, ViacomCBS, SONY and American Greetings Entertainment; and toy industry manufacturers ZURU Toys, Wicked Cool Toys, among others.

Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company is a full spectrum toy manufacturer that for more than 20 years has worked with Disney, Universal, Ryan’s World and DreamWorks, among others, to design, create and manufacture in-line or value-added products.

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