Apple threatens legal action over Steve Jobs action figure

January 6, 2012

While the Steve Jobs action figure is certainly a novel idea, Apple isn’t too happy about the creation of the figure and sent Chinese company In Icons a cease-and-desist letter that threatens legal action if the company attempts to sell the action figures. The $99 12-inch figurine comes dressed in a black turtleneck as well as jeans typical to Steve Jobs wardrobe when giving presentations at Apple press events. The kit also comes with different accessories to replicate the presentations as well. Apple is claiming that it owns the rights to Jobs’s likeness and any attempt to create and sell a figure using that likeness is a criminal offense.

During November 2010, Apple also sent a cease-and-desist to Chinese company M.I.C. Gadget and eventually stopped the company from selling a similar product. Priced $20 cheaper than the action figure from In Icons, the bobblehead design was holding an iPhone while dressed in the familiar black turtleneck, blue jeans and sneakers outfit.

Owners of that figure also received “speech bubbles” where popular phrases uttered by Steve Jobs could be written. The company sold approximately 300 figures and took in about $23,000 before Apple threatened legal action. Company officials at M.I.C. Gadget apologized to Apple and attempted to strike up a licensing agreement to continue making the figures, but Apple did not respond.

The In Icons figure was set to be released during February 2012 before the cease-and-desist was sent and the company has stopped taking preorders. When asked about any possible legal action from Apple during an interview with ABC News, In Icons head Tandy Cheung stated “Apple can do anything they like. I will not stop, we already started production.” Prior to the creation of the figure, Cheung consulted with attorneys based in Hong Kong and they advised him to go ahead with the figure as long as no Apple devices were included with the model.

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