A German toy company, Greiner and Hausser, alleges that Mattel’s BARBIE doll is based on its BILD-LILLI doll (pictured.  More pictures, including one where it resembles a disheveled Marlene Dietrich, here).  The German company litigated and settled with Mattel 40 years ago, and has brought a new action claiming royalties on every Barbie sold over the past 40 years (which would be a Big Number).  The Ninth Circuit has issued a preliminary procedural ruling regarding personal jursidiction.  The decision is a must-read for those consumed by the history of Barbie.

Mattel v. Greiner and Hausser, No. 02-56272 (9th Cir Dec 22, 2003).