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Kids playing with Barbie’s new CD-ROM may be unwittingly breaking patent law. Debbie Gioello, professor of design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, is suing Mattel for allegedly misappropriating her computerized system for designing clothing. Mattel retails a CD-ROM called “Barbie Fashion Designer and Barbie Cool Looks” that allows users to store garment designs in a database and print selected combinations, a method which Gioello claims is illegal. Her company Gioello Enterprises Ltd. filed suit in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware. “Mattel has been (infringing) by selling its Barbie Fashion Designer products in the U.S. with instructions that encourage others to infringe,” said the suit.

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