Rascal Files Trademark Suit Against Topco Over Black Balled Dildo
LOS ANGELES — Rascal Video today filed a trademark infringement and breach-of-contract suit against Topco Sales, claiming the sex toy company didn't hand over all of the molds used to manufacture Rascal products as terms of an earlier settlement agreement.
The new suit, filed today at federal court in Los Angeles, claims that Topco's operators didn't live up to a settlement deal made in February by not listing molds used for Rascal's Black Balled dildos.
"In the [February] settlement agreement, [Topco] represented that it had provided Rascal with a detailed inventory of all Rascal products in its inventory and all molds in its inventory used to manufacture such products and agreed to transfer all products and molds to Rascal," the suit said.
Topco's representation was false, Rascal Video said. Further, the suit said, Topco has been distributing Black Balled products since October.
Today's federal lawsuit, as well as one that was filed last year, has its roots in Topco' s move in 2012 to make a "general assignment" for the benefit of creditors to pay off bills to avert Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
At the time Topco officials said all “inventory, equipment and means of production, packaging and shipping, as well as all trademarks, unexpired licenses and other intellectual property, including the Topco name and other business and brand names” were sold to World Sexy Media Investment LLC (WSMI).
Los Angeles-based Rascal Video — which owns and operates Channel 1 Releasing, the Rascal Video brand and Live and Raw, as well as the Chi Chi LaRue trade name — said that after it learned that Topco paid off creditors through general assignment, it also found out that WSMI "is owned, at least in part, by the owners of the old Topco. "
Rascal Video said that it didn't receive formal notice of the assignment and never received a final statement of sales and inventory as specified in its contract with Chatsworth, Calif.-based Topco, which was founded in 1973.
Because of the deficiencies, Rascal Video deemed the contract terminated, and a lawsuit followed after it allegedly found Topco distributing goods under the Dirk Yates mark without permission.
The parties, however, settled their claims in February, with the molds going back to Rascal Video.
Now, Rascal is asking Topco for damages, an injunction and attorneys fees over the latest claims.
In reaction to today's filing, Rob Novinger, one of the owners of Rascal, said that Topco hasn't been authorized to manufacture Rascal products for about a year.
"They are intentionally selling unlicensed knock-offs of our best-selling item, even going so far as to use our Black Balled name and logo,” he said.
"Rascal's Black Balled dildo is as legendary as the series I have been producing since 1995, and Topco's attempt to profit from Rascal's reputation is outrageous,” said
Chi Chi LaRue, the principal Rascal owner and iconic director, meanwhile, said "Topco's attempt to profit from Rascal's reputation is outrageous.”
"Rascal's Black Balled dildo is as legendary as the series I have been producing since 1995," LaRue said. "We have worked many years to build this brand. Rascal is the only gay owned and operated studio to exclusively produce and manufacture its own line of toys."
LaRue noted that the "genuine" Rascal Black Balled dildo will be available in the spring.
Topco CEO Scott Tucker declined comment over the suit to XBIZ Friday evening.