Originally posted 2014-12-30 11:00:23.
By Erin Holbrook | amdlawgroup.com
The creator of Nerf toy guns and the Super Soaker water gun has been awarded 72.9 million in royalties from toymaker Hasbro Inc. according to the company’s law firm King & Spalding. Atlanta-based Johnson Research and Development Co. and founder Lonnie Johnson had been in a royalty dispute with Hasbro. According to the representing law firms Hasbro had underpaid royalties for the Nerf line of toys from 2007 to 2012.
The arbitration agreement in question had occurred to resolve an inventor’s dispute in which Hasbro had agreed to pay Johnson royalties on products included in the Nerf line of toys. Specifically the N-strike and dart tag brands of toys had some neglected royalty payments.
In a separate lawsuit filed by Johnson Research and Development Co. against Hasbro, Johnson alleged a breach of contract for a 1996 royalties agreement. This agreement was for Hasbro to pay 2 percent for “three-dimensional products” based on the appearance of the Super Soaker line of products and 1 percent royalties for “two-dimensional visual representations.” The lawsuit states that Hasbro sold water guns that were “visually similar and based on the appearance of Super Soaker water guns that incorporate Johnson’s technology.” Johnson also wanted Hasbro to be forced to open their books on how many Super Soaker water guns had been sold between the years of 2006 to 2012.
Inventor Lonnie Johnson is a nuclear engineer, and former NASA scientist first licensed the Super Soaker in 1989. The product generated more than 200 million dollars within the next two years. Johnson holds 80 patents with more than 20 still pending. The company said that the sales for Super Soaker water guns are approaching 1 billion.
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