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Friday, Jun 2, 2023

MGA Beats Doll Counterfeiters in Courtroom

MGA Entertainment Inc. won a $1.2 million judgment and a permanent injunction last month against 81 toy manufacturers found to have sold counterfeit versions of the Van Nuys company’s popular L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls online. The ruling followed a preliminary judgment granted in December and a temporary restraining order in February that prohibited the manufacturers from selling the bogus toys on Chinese e-commerce sites including Alibaba.com, Aliexpress.com and DHGate.com. The rulings also froze the companies’ bank accounts and assets. Digital payment systems that facilitated the counterfeit sales, including Paypal.com and Aliplay.com, have been ordered to turn over any funds frozen by the initial ruling, according to an announcement by MGA on April 25. “With this ruling, we have successfully protected our brand and intellectual property from counterfeiters looking to defraud consumers,” said Chief Executive Isaac Larian in a statement. “This judgment is significant, declaring loudly that we will stop at nothing to prosecute any and all counterfeiters to the fullest extent of the law. Criminal activity of this nature has no place in the toy industry, and I’m very pleased with the court’s decision.” Last month, MGA filed another lawsuit against online marketplace TomTop.com for selling counterfeit toys on its websites. “It is our duty to protect consumers from these dangerous knockoffs attempting to capitalize off of the phenomenal success of L.O.L. Surprise!,” Larian said. “I will continue to prosecute any and all counterfeiters to the fullest extent of the law.” Petit Trois Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s popular French bistro Petit Trois came to Sherman Oaks last month after initially being expected to open in September. It’s Lefebvre’s sixth restaurant in the L.A. area, following Trois Mec and the first Petit Trois in Hollywood, Trois Familia in Silver Lake and two LudoBirds in Universal City and the Staples Center. The new restaurant at 13705 Ventura Blvd. seats 49 customers and an additional 12 at the bar. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and features the same menu as the original location with some new additions. Since opening his first L.A. eatery in 2013, Lefebvre’s Hollywood bistros have become known for their finely crafted takes on traditional French dishes including steak tartare, foi gras terrine and French onion soup. Tujunga-based restaurant consultant Liz Thompson expects Petit Trois to flourish in its Valley location. “It will do well because we have seen so few new French restaurants opening recently,” she said. Black Tux Expansion Online suit and tuxedo rental company Black Tux has opened two showrooms at Nordstrom’s locations at the Americana at Brand in Glendale and the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park. The showrooms give the company an expanded brick-and-mortar presence to complement its digital store. Black Tux, founded in 2013, currently has showrooms in nine cities including Santa Monica where customers receive in-store style and fitting consultations from Black Tux employees. The openings follow a trend of online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc., Bonobos and Warby Parker opening physical storefronts. Despite the growing popularity of online shopping, brick-and-mortar sales still made up 87 percent of total retail revenue in the U.S. for the fourth quarter of last year, according to a report by the Commerce Department. ‘Love Boat’ Honored Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored Princess Cruises and the original cast of the ’70s television show “The Love Boat” with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a ceremony on May 10. The show, which aired on the ABC network from 1977 to 1986, is recognized as popularizing the idea of a cruise vacation in the U.S. Episodes were shot on the Santa Clarita-based company’s Pacific Princess and Island Princess cruise ships. “What an unexpected thrill for our cast to be honored with Princess Cruises on Hollywood Boulevard,” Gavin MacLeod, who played Capt. Merrill Stubing on the show, said in a statement. “People still approach me and say that the show gave them something to dream about – falling in love, finding happiness – all while sparking the desire to travel.” Staff Reporter Ethan Varian can be reached at (818) 316-3130 or evarian@sfvbj.com.

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