Thursday, June 26, 2003

What's the Buzz?

Toy firms spar over water guns

Call it a water gun battle.

Bryan, Ohio-based Ohio Art Co., maker of the "Aquatic Revenge Machine" toy water gun, Wednesday said it will fight any efforts by bigger rival Hasbro Inc. to take the toy off the market.

Hasbro's Larami unit, maker of the top-selling water gun called the Super Soaker, filed a patent-infringement lawsuit in federal court in Camden, N.J., claiming Ohio Art's A.R.M. 4000 XL infringes two patents for a pressurized water system and release valve. Hasbro is seeking a temporary block of sales of the Ohio Art toy while the case is pending.

"We have not infringed on the two proprietary patents owned by Larami, and there is absolutely no merit to the injunction being sought by Larami," Ohio Art president Larry Killgallon said in a statement. "The design and mechanical technology that differentiates the A.R.M. 4000 XL is in fact proprietary to the Ohio Art Co. and differs significantly from any water products from Larami."

Ohio Art is best known for the Etch A Sketch drawing toy.

Enquirer wire services

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