Rap Snacks maker faces trademark lawsuit from Mattel for its Nicki Minaj ‘Barbie-Que’ chips

Mattel said it sued "as a last resort” and is seeking all profits from sales of the snacks.

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Mattel Inc., the popular Barbie toymaker, is taking legal action against the company behind Rap Snacks, alleging trademark violation related to Nicki Minaj’s new potato chips.

According to Reuters, Mattel filed the lawsuit last week in Los Angeles federal court seeking a court order to block Miami-based Rap Snacks from using the Barbie name and alleges that the snack brand’s “Barbie-Que Honey Truffle” chips — whose bags sport the image and name of the performer — infringe on its Barbie trademark. The company mentions its own Barbie snack foods line, arguing that the Barbie-Que Honey Truffle chips falsely associate the product with the one in the billion-dollar Barbie line and create customer confusion. 

“The association is so evident that upon seeing the packaging, representatives for Defendant’s celebrity partner queried whether Rap Snacks had obtained permission from Mattel,” the complaint reads, Reuters reports. 

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Nicki Minaj is not a defendant in Mattel’s lawsuit against the company that packaged potato chips using the rapper’s name and that of Barbie, one of the toymaker’s brands. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Minaj, who has long used the iconic Barbie doll as part of her hip-hop persona and who is not named in the lawsuit, collaborated with Mattel on a doll for charity in 2011. Rap Snacks has not commented on the lawsuit.

 Barbie-Que Honey Truffle chips were introduced in June, making Minaj the latest rapper to join other notable artists with their own flavors, including Cardi B, Snoop Dogg, Boosie, Migos and Rick Ross.

The complaint further contends that Rap Snacks never asked or received permission to use the Barbie name in connection with the chips but went ahead with the launch, according to Hip Hop DX. It includes “one count of federal unfair competition and false designation of origin, one count of federal trademark dilution, and a singular count of state unfair competition violation.”

Mattel noted that it sued “as a last resort,” and is seeking all profits from sales of Barbie-Que chips, Reuters reported.

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