T.I. and Tameka “Tiny” Harris have lost a lawsuit against a toy company over the likeness of the company’s LOL Surprise Dolls to the couple’s musical group OMG Girlz.
On Friday (May 26), a jury ultimately ruled in favor of MGA Entertainment after a 10-day trial and only a few hours of deliberation. Law 360 reports that the couple had sought $100 million in damages.
The jury found that MGA Entertainment’s OMG Dollz didn’t infringe on the trademark or misappropriate the name or likeness of the couple’s OMG Girlz rap group, which featured T.I. and Tiny’s daughter, Zonnique Pullins, and was co-owned by the Atlanta rapper.
Lil Wayne’s daughter Reginae Carter and sisters Bahja and Lourdes Rodriguez were also group members.
Friday’s ruling marks the end of a fierce legal battle that included accusations of extortion and racism.
RELATED: Judge Declares Mistrial In T.I. & Tiny’s Lawsuit Against Toymaker MGA Entertainment Over Popular LOL Surprise Dolls
Tip did say he respects the jury’s verdict, but his wife described the outcome as “horrible.”
“It’s horrible, but whatever,” Tiny told Law360 after the ruling. “(I’d) hear what the jurors have to say,” Tip added.
MGA Entertainment CEO Says He “Feels Great” After Validating Verdict
Meanwhile, MGA’s Chief Executive Officer Isaac Larian said he “feels great” and added that the verdict validates his claims that the suit was “a shakedown.”
“I’m glad they came back with this verdict so fast,” Larian told the outlet.
Tiny formed the OMZ Girlz teen pop girl group back in 2009. In January, she sued MGA for allegedly stealing the group’s likeness for its L.O.L Surprise OMG Girls dolls.
The couple claimed that in 2010, MGA announced its plan to launch a line of dolls modeled after the OMG Girlz. However, according to the lawsuit, it could not secure the necessary licensing agreements and refused to negotiate compensation.
The dolls eventually hit shelves in 2019.
— TheShadeRoom (@TheShadeRoom) April 18, 2022
Verdict Comes Months After Mistrial Where Judge Ruled Against Cultural Appropriation Argument
Judge James V. Selna, who presided over T.I. and Tiny’s lawsuit, declared it a mistrial in January.
Selna said their “cultural appropriation” argument was “immaterial and impertinent” to the actual legal issues in the case and could not be made in front of jurors.
The mistrial was ruled after MGA Entertainment argued the cultural appropriation accusations had ruined their opportunity for a fair trial.
T.I. and Tiny attempted to persuade the jury that the dolls exemplified “cultural appropriation and outright theft of the intellectual property.” They also accused the toy company of stealing the look of “young multicultural women.”
At the time, the toymaker said they were disappointed with the mistrial outcome. It added that diversity “has always been a key value” at MGA.
“Diversity has always been a key value,” MGA said following January’s mistrial. “We are disappointed that the trial was cut short, but look forward to vindicating our rights in the next trial.”
I mentioned this in my newsletter, and I’m surprised this hasn’t gotten more attention, but there’s a trial beginning this week in L.A. over whether a line of dolls infringes upon the look of a real-life girl’s group. LOL Surprise OMG! pic.twitter.com/ZVWSGQ3Kkn
— Eriq Gardner ✍️ (@eriqgardner) January 17, 2023