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Steve Jobs Action Figure to Spur Another Apple Lawsuit?

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on January 09, 2012 5:58 AM

Forget SOPA. Now that a Chinese company is set to release an unofficial Steve Jobs action figure, a more pressing question may be: Who's going to stop overseas toy piracy?

The answer: Lawyers from the late Steve Jobs' estate, most likely.

A company called In Icons, based in China, unveiled images of a prototype Steve Jobs action figure on its website earlier today, the Los Angeles Times reports. Within hours, the company's website was overwhelmed with traffic and could not be accessed.

In Icons' unauthorized Steve Jobs action figure stands 12 inches tall and is being touted as uncannily realistic. It comes complete with round wire spectacles, a black mock-turtleneck, and blue jeans -- along with pores and wrinkles on its face, and veins on its hand.

As a bonus, the doll also comes with a second pair of hands in case you lose the first pair, the Times reports. And all for the proposed retail price of just $99.

In Icons' website says it plans to start shipping the Steve Jobs action figures in February, the Times reports. But skeptics aren't too sure.

The last time a company tried to sell an unauthorized Steve Jobs action figure in 2010, Apple's lawyers took action. The company sent a cease and desist letter to Chinese toymaker M.I.C. Gadget, emphasizing Apple didn't consent to the use of its copyrights and trademarks.

M.I.C. Gadget's Steve Jobs action figure had the tech icon standing on an Apple logo platform. M.I.C. stopped selling its dolls, and later apologized to Jobs and Apple.

In Icons' action figure does not appear to use the Apple logo. But California law still generally prohibits the use of a person's name, photograph, or likeness in a product without consent.

Lawyers for Jobs' estate will probably use that law to try to stop In Icons from profiting off its unauthorized Steve Jobs action figure. That is, unless In Icons' attorneys can figure out some "insanely great" loophole to avoid a likely lawsuit.

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