The two companies have been partners since the 1970s, when Hasbro settled an agreement with Estrela for the Brazilian company to launch its products in Brazil, with adaptations to the local market. Thus, The Game of Life became Jogo da Vida, Simon became Genius, GI Joe was renamed, first Falcon and then Comandos em Ação. The same happened with several other adapted products.
In 2007, Estrela reportedly stopped paying royalties to Hasbro. The American, in turn, decided to set foot in Brazil at the same time and brought in a commercial representation.
Today, Hasbro faces an unusual situation, competing with itself in the country: its Monopoly, created in 1935, for example, disputes space with Banco Imobiliário, launched by Estrela in Brazil in 1944. Brands that, according to the court, belong to Hasbro, while Estrela claims to be hers because they were adapted and present differences in relation to the original product.
Sought, the companies declined to comment. Estrela only stated, through its press office, that it will appeal. However, according to people heard by the report, there is an interpretation that she would need to comply with the sentence, even if she decides to take the case to higher courts.
Under the agreement signed with Hasbro, Estrela should register the brands it created for the products with the BPTO (Brazilian Patent Office) and, at the end of the contract, transfer the rights to the partner. The last contract signed between them is for 2003, being extended based on amendments. In 2007, Estrela would have stopped paying royalties for the use of the brands, but continued to produce and sell the products.
In the Court of Justice of São Paulo ruling, Hasbro’s defense says that Estrela was in bad faith since the company would have transferred the brands to Brinquemolde, of which it is the main shareholder. It would be a way to defraud the performance of the contract and prevent Hasbro from receiving royalties.
Estrela, in turn, defends that it owns the brands it developed and that the contract was unilaterally terminated by Hasbro.
If the Court of Justice of São Paulo‘s decision to collect and destroy the toys is in fact extended to retailers, it will take the sector by surprise as it prepares for two of the best-selling moments, Black Friday (on the 26th) and Christmas.
Source: Folha de São Paulo