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Mattel is back with gender-neutral dolls

Steve Murphy

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You got that right; Mattel this week is going to introduce the company’s first-ever gender-neutral dolls line which is gender-free. There have always been stereotypes associated with boys playing with dolls, for it wasn’t seen as ‘acceptable’.

The coming up of this new gender-neutral line is already breaking the ‘stereotypes’ in many ways and it indeed is a piece of great news. These dolls are said to be a boy, a girl, neither, or both.

It’s been reported that the dolls have been curated out of great precision, like any ‘doll’, these dolls’ lips aren’t too full, eyelashes not very long and fluttery, no Barbie-like breasts. It’s reported that each doll in this Creatable World series looks like a slender 7-year old with short hair, but all of them come along with a wig of long lustrous locks.

The best part is that the wardrobe of the dolls is said to have a variety such as hoodies, sneakers, graphic T-shirts, camo pants and so on. All of this has been designed to keep out the labels, allowing kids to customize their characters in their way over and over again.

The senior vice president of Mattel fashion doll design Kim Culmone’s goes on to say, “this line allows all kids to express themselves freely, which is why it resonates so strongly with them”. This initiative is set to break some strong gender stereotypes and we can’t wait for the society to come along and expand their minds, be more acceptable and be okay with changing certain patters for the good.

Steve Murphy has handled various businesses throughout his career and has a deep domain knowledge. He founded Report Door in an attempt to bring the latest news to its readers. He is glued to the stock market most of the times and just loves being in touch with the developments in the business world.

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Pfizer shares tumble after setback with breast cancer treatment

Michael Leahy

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Pfizer shares tumble after setback with breast cancer treatment

Shares of Pfizer fell nearly 7 percent on Monday after an independent data monitoring committee determined the drugmaker’s breast cancer treatment was unlikely to meet the main goal of a late-stage study.

The treatment, Ibrance, was being tested along with the standard of care for early breast cancer in men and women, against standard of care alone, the company said on Friday.

The study was broadly seen to have a high probability of success readout, but the early failure represents a meaningful setback for Pfizer, JP Morgan analysts said in a note, cutting its price target on the stock by $1, to $37.

At least three other brokerages cut their price targets on the stock.

Ibrance, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2015 for metastatic breast cancer, brought in sales of $4.96 billion in 2019.

Shares of Pfizer were trading down $2.58, to $35.60 in mid-afternoon trading.

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Supreme Court halts bid to block Madoff trustee lawsuits

Michael Leahy

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Supreme Court halts bid to block Madoff trustee lawsuits

The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by major banks and companies including Koch Industries to prevent a trustee chasing money for victims of imprisoned Ponzi scheme swindler Bernard Madoff from recouping funds that were transferred overseas.

The justices left in place a lower court’s ruling that revived dozens of lawsuits filed by Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating Madoff’s firm, aimed at recovering the foreign transfers. The defendants in the litigation had said the ruling improperly extended the reach of US bankruptcy law beyond the country’s borders.

The Manhattan-based the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals had overturned a bankruptcy judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuits. President Donald Trump’s administration agreed with the 2nd Circuit ruling.

The dispute is part of Picard’s 11-year search for tainted money stemming from the largest Ponzi scheme in history, which Madoff orchestrated through his New York firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. The trustee has estimated that Madoff’s customers lost $17.5 billion in the fraud.

Madoff, 82, was arrested in 2008 and pleaded guilty in 2009. He is serving a 150-year sentence in North Carolina. Madoff, whose lawyer has said is dying of kidney failure, has sought “compassionate release,” saying he had fewer than 18 months to live.

The case centers on 88 lawsuits filed against Koch, controlled by the billionaire Charles Koch, HSBC Holdings Plc, UBS and other entities accused of receiving Madoff-linked money indirectly through offshore feeder funds that had directly invested with Madoff.

Picard contends about $3 billion was fraudulently transferred outside the US, taking into account his settlement with the British Virgin Islands-based Kingate feeder funds.

The trustee sued Koch, a privately held industrial conglomerate based in Kansas, in 2012 to recoup $21.5 million Madoff was accused of sending to another British Virgin Islands-based feeder fund and then to a Koch entity in Britain. Koch was not accused of wrongdoing.

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Judge tosses ex-basketball players’ ‘Fortnite’ dance lawsuit

Michael Leahy

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Judge tosses ex-basketball players’ ‘Fortnite’ dance lawsuit

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which two former University of Maryland men’s basketball players accused makers of the “Fortnite” video game of misappropriating a dance move that the ex-teammates popularized.

US District Judge Paul Grimm in Maryland ruled Friday that the Copyright Act preempts claims that Jared Nickens and Jaylen Brantley filed in February 2019 against Epic Games, creator of the popular online shooting game.

Nickens and Brantley claimed the Cary, North Carolina-based company misappropriated their identities by digitally copying the “Running Man Challenge” dance that they performed in social media videos and on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2016.

Their copyright infringement lawsuit claimed the “Running Man” dance “emote” that Fortnite players can purchase for their characters is identical to the dance that Nickens and Brantley took credit for creating.

The judge said the key question is whether plaintiffs have a claim that is “qualitatively different” from the rights protected by the Copyright Act.

“And here Plaintiffs claim is based on Epic Games allegedly ‘capturing and digitally copying’ the Running Man dance to create the Fortnite emote that ‘allows the player’s avatars to execute the Running Man identically to Plaintiffs’ version.’ This is squarely within the rights protected by the Copyright Act,” he wrote.

Brantley, of Springfield, Mass., and Nickens, of Monmouth Junction, NJ, were seeking more than $5 million in damages.

Epic Games spokesman Nick Chester declined to comment Monday on the judge’s ruling.

Celebratory dances in Fortnite are called “emotes.” While the game itself is free to play, players can purchase the “emotes” and other character customizations.

Other artists, including Brooklyn-based rapper 2 Milly and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Alfonso Ribeiro, also have sued Epic Games over other dances depicted in the shooting game. Ribeiro dropped his lawsuit against Epic Games last year after the US Copyright Office denied him a copyright for the “Carlton” dance that his character performed on the 1990s sitcom.

Nickens and Brantley appeared on DeGeneres’ talk show alongside two New Jersey high school students who were posting videos of the dance online before the two University of Maryland basketball players filmed their own version. Brantley told DeGeneres that Nickens first showed him the dance in a video on Instagram.

“We dance every day for our teammates in the locker room,” Brantley said. “We were like, ‘Hey, let’s make a video and make everybody laugh.’”

One of their dance videos has millions of views on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, their lawsuit said.

The judge dismissed their lawsuit’s claims for invasion of privacy, unfair competition and unjust enrichment based on preemption under the Copyright Act. He also threw out their trademark claims and claims accusing the company of unfair competition and “false designation of origin” under the Lanham Act.

“Plaintiffs seek to place the same square peg into eight round holes in search of a cause of action against Epic Games for its use of the Running Man dance in its game Fortnite. But Plaintiffs’ claims that Epic Games copied the dance do not support any of their theories,” the judge wrote.

Nickens was playing professional basketball in Canada and Brantley was working as a sports agent when they sued last year, according to Richard Jaklitsch, one of their attorneys. Jaklitsch didn’t immediately respond Monday to an e-mail seeking comment.

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