It was one of the biggest toy hits in the 1980s: My Little Pony. And there are still some die hard fans out there. But toy manufacturing giant Hasbro is not really amused by them.
The My Little Pony fans, called ‘bronies’, are quite the passionate adult fan base. They love expressing their love for the little plastic creatures.
However, recently Hasbro has shut down a fan-made My Little Pony game, a game that has been about eighteen months in the making. A sad day for the fans.
Although Hasbro has every right to do so, and to keep the ‘My Little Pony’ trademark alive and kicking, there is always the decision a trademark owner has to make: act or support. In the past Hasbro has appeared to be a company that embraced its fanbase, realizing that all the additional attention and exposure would only serve them well.
There are other means to stop this infringement, for instance by agreeing to a (low-cost) licence and/or working together on the game.
If you are not careful, an infringement action can backfire and cause negative sentiments amongst the fan base.
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