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Toy maker Hasbro Inc. is taking Tony the Tiger to court. Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro filed a federal trademark lawsuit against cereal giant Kellogg Co., claiming a promotion appearing on boxes of Frosted Flakes too closely resembles Hasbro’s Memory card game. The back of the box shows 16 cards featuring eight characters from the upcoming animated movie “Finding Nemo.” Instructions invite children to cut them out, turn them face down, and flip them back over in pairs to find matches. Those are also the rules of Memory, the 1960s-era game trademarked by Hasbro — which is selling its own “Finding Nemo” version of the game in toy stores. The Walt Disney Co., which produced “Finding Nemo” with Pixar Animation Studios, has licensed the characters to Hasbro for use in its Memory game, according to the suit, filed late Tuesday in Manhattan federal court and made public Wednesday. In a statement, Hasbro said it filed the suit to protect its trademark against “blatant infringement.” Kellogg said it would not comment on pending legal matters. The Hasbro suit included a full-page reproduction of the front of a Frosted Flakes box, with the cereal’s familiar Tony the Tiger mascot grinning next to two fish and a turtle who appear in “Finding Nemo.” The movie, due in theaters May 30, features the adventures of a fish traveling the ocean to find his son, who has been stolen from their home in a coral reef. Hasbro, the nation’s No. 2 toy maker behind Mattel Inc., said it has already pointed out the similarities to Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg, which also makes Rice Krispies and Pop-Tarts. The toy maker wants the court to order Kellogg to recall and impound all Frosted Flakes boxes that feature the game. The suit also seeks damages to be determined later. Memory was introduced in 1966 and trademarked in 1967 by Milton Bradley Co., now part of Hasbro. In late trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Hasbro shares were down 13 cents at $15.34 while Kellogg shares were steady at $33.56. Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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