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An artist can continue using Barbie dolls in his photographic renderings, some of which depict dolls posed in sexual positions, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision denying a request by toymaker Mattel for a preliminary injunction pending a fall trial. The company had sought to bar Tom Forsythe from using the doll in his photographs and from selling the photos as postcards. Mattel’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Forsythe of copyright and trademark infringement. The Utah artist maintains he has fair use based on artistic expression and free speech rights. Forsythe uses Barbies “to critique the materialistic and gender-oppressive values he believes the doll embodies,” according to a statement Thursday from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which is representing Forsythe. Mattel wanted the court to order Forsythe to hand over all the negatives of his work so they could be destroyed. “Trademarks are our most valuable asset as a company because consumers associate them with superior play quality and value,” said Mattel spokeswoman Lisa Marie Bongiovanni. Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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