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Legal battle over the right to Frida Kahlo's image was dismissed in the US last week

02 October 2021

The long legal fight over the rights to Frida Kahlo's legacy and picture raised in 2018 after the delivery of a Barbie doll made in the Mexican painter’s likeness was dismissed within the US, after being rejected within the US Area Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Finally the relatives of the legacy of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo have lost their lawsuit with the Frida Kahlo Corporation for claiming it holds the rights to her image. Mattel, the toy maker and creators of the Barbie Doll, launched a range of new Barbie dolls based on "Inspiring Women" in 2018 and among them was a "Frida doll." The range was highlighted on International Women's Day.

Panama City-based Frida Kahlo Corporation (FKC) filed a lawsuit against Mara Cristina Romeo Pinedo, Frida Kahlo's great-granddaughter who had a temporary injunction issued in Mexico preventing the sale of the new Frida Kahlo Barbie in the United States. The doll was considered by the family to be anorexic and the famous one-eyebrow was ripped off to mitigate ethnicity. After Kahlo's death in 1954, the estate's trademarks passed to Isolda Pinedo Kahlo, her granddaughter. Isolda Pinedo Kahlo's daughter, Maria Cristina Romeo Pinedo, obtained power of attorney over these property rights in 2003 and it was during this time that the rights were transferred to FKC. Frida's image was exploited on mugs, t-shirts, sneakers and tequila brands.

Court documents filed in September named the defendants Pinedo and his daughter Mara de Anda Romeo. They strongly argued that the case should not be fought in the United States. "The Defendants, two Mexican nationals, argue that this trademark infringement case brought by two Panamanian companies cannot be heard in the Southern District of Florida," said Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. "Plaintiffs disagree, arguing that jurisdiction is proper. After reviewing the pleadings and relevant law, the Court grants defendants' motion to dismiss.

(from Artlyst.com)