Japan's Hello Kitty creator miffed at Dutch bunny ruling

4th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

The creator of Japan's cartoon icon of cuteness Hello Kitty Thursday said it was unhappy with a Dutch ruling in a copyright case against its famous feline character's rabbit friend Cathy.

An Amsterdam court this week ordered Sanrio Co to halt production and sales of Cathy merchandise in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg after finding the Japanese bunny too closely resembled the Dutch character Miffy.

Tokyo-based Sanrio said it was "discontent with the temporary injunction" by the Dutch court, which came in a case launched by Mercis, the copyright management firm for Dutch children's book author Dick Bruna.

"We will continue to make our point through the court case that we have not infringed on the plaintiff's rights," Sanrio said in a statement. "We are considering filing a complaint."

Miffy was created in 1955, while Cathy has been marketed since 1976 as one of the friends of Hello Kitty, a character that made its debut in in 1974.

Hello Kitty has since spawned a massive global industry with sales of some 50,000 Kitty products in nearly 60 countries.

© 2010 AFP

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