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Artist sues over Angry Birds pet toys

Seattle - A Seattle artist who designed a line of plush toys for pets called Angry Birds is suing the company that sold them, saying it cheated her of millions of dollars when it reached a deal with the Finnish company that makes the insanely popular videogame of the same name.

Juli Adams designed her pet toy line for The Hartz Mountain Corporation of New Jersey in 2006.

Artist Juli Adams poses for a photo in her home and studio in Seattle with one of her original drawings that a line of plush pet toys called Angry Birds were based on. Credit: AP

The addictive Angry Birds videogame launched in 2009. Adams' lawsuit says game-maker Rovio Entertainment wanted to market plush toys for dogs and cats based on the game, but it couldn't because Adams already had the US trademark for Angry Birds pet toys.

She says Hartz apparently leveraged her trademark to persuade Rovio to grant it exclusive rights to sell pet toys based on the videogame characters.

Hartz did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Tuesday. - Sapa-AP

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