Thursday, August 26, 2010

Super Duper vs. Mattel

An awesome special needs product company has been sued by Mattel for using the words "Say" and "and Say" on some of their materials. Mattel thinks they are ripping off the See 'n' Say toy.
Aside from the fact that the products with the words in question don't make sounds and don't have a pull handle, these materials are catalog and internet sales only.

You're not going to walk into a Toys'R'Us and find a speech pathology game (to use an example) called "See It!, Say It!" and think to yourself, "Hmm, my kids just loved that See'n'Say toy. This must be made by the same company. I'll buy it because my kids had so much fun with the other toys by this company!"

Mattel already won some money from Super Duper, but now they are trying to make them destroy all of the materials that currently have the words "say" or "and say" on them and produce all new copies of the materials with new titles. This, in addition to the money Mattel is suing for, would probably bankrupt the company, I'm guessing. They aren't a huge business.

I've ordered from them several times. They have items that are great for kids with autism, speech/language delays, and other special needs. I hope they win their appeal.

Here is an email I received from the company asking for help distributing this info, so I thought I'd share it:

This message is NOT an advertisement. It concerns the Super Duper-Mattel case.

We at Super Duper ask that you consider helping us in our fight with Mattel over the use of the words SAY and AND SAY in our product titles.

If you are a member of any state or national organizations, please encourage them to contact me, Thomas Webber, and join with other organizations in support of filing an amicus brief (friend of the court brief) with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to hear Super Duper’s appeal. I will explain the rest.

My email is and my cell phone is 864-884-1079.

Thank you for taking time to consider helping us.

Thomas Webber

This is a special message from Super Duper® Publications ©2010 dealing with the Mattel case.

I also copied this press release from
Mattel wants Small Special Education Co Super Duper to Pay $5.46 million, and More...

Not satisfied with a $400,000 verdict against small special education company Super Duper Publications (based upon SD using the word SAY in some of its special needs product titles), Mattel has asked the trial court to make Super Duper pay $5.46 million dollars in attorneys fees and costs, plus stop Super Duper from selling these SAY products until it takes SAY out of the product names.

Apparently not satisfied with its recent $400,000 judgment against small special education company Super Duper Publications (based upon Super Duper using the word SAY in some of its speech and language product titles), Mattel Toy Company has now asked the trial court to make Super Duper pay $5.46 million dollars of Mattel’s attorneys’ fee and costs.

At trial, Mattel lost on two of the claims it brought against Super Duper (alleged unfair competition, and alleged fraud before the federal Trademark Office), and also lost on its trademark and infringement claims relating to eight (8) of Super Duper's fifteen (15) SAY titles.

Despite the mixed verdict, Mattel wants Super Duper to fully reimburse it for all of its fees and costs of the lawsuit.

In addition, Mattel has asked the trial court to permanently prohibit Super Duper from selling seven lines of its SAY products until Super Duper changes the names in the titles of these products to something that does not use the SAY word. If the court grants this request, Super Duper would have to destroy hundreds of thousands of dollars in special education product inventory, stop selling these products indefinitely, and spend hundreds of thousand of more dollars to replace these products with ones that have new titles.

Thomas Webber, co-owner of Super Duper, has previously indicated that Super Duper will appeal the $400,000 judgment to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals because Super Duper believes it has done nothing wrong in using the SAY word on product titles that are directed specifically to teachers and parents of autistic children and other children with speech and language delays or disabilities.

Mr. Webber also stated that should the trial court grant Mattel’s request for $5.46 in attorneys’ fees and costs, Super Duper will ask the Appeals Court to suspend collection of this sum until the appeal is heard. He further indicated that If the trial court orders that Super Duper stop selling the SAY titles involved in the judgment, he will ask the Appeals Court to allow Super Duper to continue to selling these products until the Court renders its decision on appeal.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Too bad Laura Schlessinger won't shut the hell up!

She's quitting her radio show so she can "regain" her freedom of speech rights? Hmm. I'm just happy she's quitting the show. I can't stand the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, hateful garbage she spews.

Here is my particular favorite gem of wisdom from Dr. Laura, though it is several years old (copied from

Dr. L: Denise. Welcome to the program.

Denise: Hi, Dr. Laura. I am my kids' Mom. I have three children, 6, 8 and 10 and my middle son has autism. He's a non-verbal autistic child, and we've been going through about 10 weeks of some real severe behavior problems with him where he has just gone from doing so well to this complete regression.

Dr. Laura: Do they have any idea why? Any rhyme or reason to these things.

Denise: We're working on it, we have an appointment with doctors and all... And its just so difficult, I just can't describe it.

Dr. Laura: Is there much left of you for the 6 and 10 year old?

Denise: No. They're right now with my grandparents, my, my in-laws... (Talks about sending other children to the grandparents) ... and you know, my parents are worried about me. (Breaks down ... "so sorry.")

Dr. Laura: Right now, I'm worried about you, too.

Denise: My father's birthday is today and he's having a birthday party tomorrow, and he has invited all the family to a very nice restaurant where right now its just not feasible - and they know that, and they want ...

Dr. Laura: Denise, Denise, I'm going to say something now that you need to hear. You need to have a life aside from this torture. You need to have a life aside from this. Your family needs to have a life aside from this. I suspect you've done more than is humanly possible. There are responsible people who are specifically trained to deal with very difficult kids with very serious problems like your son has. Let them baby-sit so you can go out and have a life sometimes.

Denise: And that's okay.

Dr. Laura: No, no, it's not only okay. Your 6 year old and your 10 year old deserve it. They are losing out because they're okay. Your husband is losing out because he's okay. You're losing out because you're okay.

Denise: No, he didn't want to go. He felt if we couldn't go some where we all could go ...

Dr. Laura: There is nowhere you can bring this kid. There is no place. And that's not fair to the family. And this is what I call unreasonable guilt. There is reasonable guilt - you kicked me in the shins, you should say you're sorry. This is unreasonable guilt.

Denise: But I feel like we're leaving him out.

Dr. Laura: That's correct. You are. When its appropriate you leave him out. If your husband was a falling down drunk they might ask you to leave him home, too. And I would say, That's reasonable. Yes, You are reasonably leaving him out so all of you can have a decent life. Everyone is involved and invested. Everyone has spent an inordinate amount of time and an inordinate amount of money, an inordinate amount of stress. I bet you get every bug that goes around.

Denise: Yes.

Dr. Laura: Yes, I know. I can hear that. You have to give yourself permission to have a life apart from that. And you know, Denise, this may not be fixable.

Denise: What's that?

Dr. Laura: Your son may not be fixable. In which case you're going to have to think of some kind of placement. He might even become dangerous to himself or somebody else -- and that's not going to be unreasonable either because he would be in a more controlled environment where there are experts in dealing with him.

Denise: We just don't know what happened to him.

Dr. Laura: Well, you know it has nothing to do with Mommy. You understand that, don't you. Autism has nothing to do with whether you're a bitch or too sweet. It's an error. Something is wrong in the head. Some people with milder versions. Extraordinary things can be done, but some people have serious problems and it compounds, and it can't be fixed... So at some point you have to think about alternative situations so this family can have a life - and please - that's fair to everyone.

Denise: That's what my family has been saying.

Dr. Laura: And that's not abandonment. That's appropriate placement. There's a difference. One visits, One does stuff, one takes the kid home sometimes on holidays, you go on little expeditions, bring him little gifts, whatever he's capable of experiencing and enjoying and functioning in. But don't
beat yourself over the head. Buy yourself a nice dress, and have a nice time at dinner tomorrow night, maybe one of the few nice times you've had at dinner in 8 years. And that's fair.

Denise: Thank you, Dr. Laura.

Dr. Laura: I'm really sorry. I think you folks have gone above and beyond. Not everything can be fixed.

Denise: But we're going to try to help him as much as we possibly can.

Dr. Laura: That's right, and that may mean a different setting...

Denise: I don't want to go there yet.

Dr. Laura: Well, don't forget other kids suffer from lack of attention, and that's no less serious.

Denise: It's such a terrible balance.

Dr. Laura: Yes . But you understand that these are normal kids who need some semblance of a normal family life. They are going to go out into the world and do the important things in the world. And if they're not given their best opportunity, then we're losing three. And its not abandonment, it's just apportioning the time and effort.

Yeah, they put in a grueling 8 years taking care of one of their children, whom they love, and Dr. Laura thinks this is going above and beyond. It sounds like that family needed some respite or maybe some therapies for their son, not to put him in a home/facility at age 8. It sounds like in the future he will probably need to move to a group home or assisted living type of facility, but to suggest that the family has done all they can and that they deserve a life without this son is ignorant and callous.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yahoo! Commentaries

I tend to fritter away quite a bit of time each week reading articles on Yahoo. The articles themselves aren't really what I consider a waste of time--I read lots of news articles and occasionally find some funny typos and stories. However, the comments that people leave for the articles tend to be ridiculous. I feel my time is wasted by reading them because they are so inane.

Yet they hold some interest for me, because if I read just one comment I usually can't stop. I'll read all of the comments available on that page. I couldn't possibly read all the comments on all of the articles I read because I'd have no time to get anything done.

The one thing that always somehow gets mentioned in the comments is politics. No matter what the article is about someone will blame something on Obama, the "demotards", the "republitards", the right wing extremists, the leftist nutjobs, etc. (by the way, I'm not a big fan of turning any word into a slur by adding "tard" to the end of it)

Here is a sampling of today's gems (comments are posted below the article link, with usernames removed; I added quotes to mark the beginning/end for comments; anything in red italics was added by me):

Schwarzenegger calls for same-sex weddings

"its no longer freedom of speech to express against gay marriage, but Homophobic!!!! our rights to express our opinions are slowly being taken away!!!!!! WHAT WILL BECOME OF THIS COUNTRY, IF WE NO LONGER CAN EXPRESS OUR OPINIONS WITHOUT BEING CALLED HOMOPHOBIC?"

"Christians are so retarded that they can only communicate in insults." Hmm, I wonder if this user sees the hypocrisy of his/her comment?

"You would think gay marriage is torture by the way Republicans oppose it. No wait, if it were torture Republicans would be all for it (sic)."

"diccs are for chicks you stupid turd burglers.I hope you all catch a bad disease and you're oscar myer weiner falls off."

"Most Americans are trying to get the government out of our lives. The gays want more government in their lives. There must be a problem in the gene pool!"

Man charged in NYC subway plot pleads not guilty

"Was Obamas guest at the White House. NICE!"

"All you gays better wake up. If Ilsalm has it's way your done."

"Osama & Obama will jointly officiate at the opening of the mosque near Ground Zero. Osama will then be given a grand tour of the White House. Then.....presto.......Osama 'escapes' to Pakistan right under the eyes of the CIA."

"of coures he is not guilty, our goverment let him in the usa. how can our goverment be wrong about such things? i hear muslims are loveing law abiding people. and our goverment says that they are all screened,history check before they are allowed in. seems like our imagation offices anit doing
such a good job. but our presidant,,or dictator,,needs votes and he knows the common white working
man will not vote for him,,ya all get it? our pres. hates americans"

Haiti faces a question: Who is Wyclef Jean?

"What's the fuss, he can't screw the place up anymore than it is. Who the Hell knows, he may actually do the country some good. If he doesn't just add him to the list of other dirtbags that have ripped off their fellow countrymen and stole all the forgein aid."

"just who is homer simpson? lol"

"Maybe the next earthquake will swallow the whole place, we could use a trash pit."

"Why are people complain about him running a nation. Seriously a lot of racist bigots out there. Here is my questions, if you hate black people so much why do you care about a "black" country? Hell why even care about Sean Penn? seeing you tea-braggers and republicants hate him so much for being a "libtard". Are you mad that you some how did not make 18million a year? Are you mad that you are not Haitian?
And for those saying that "why is this news?" Here is a question, why did you click on the link? Why don't you click on the link with snookie on it." I do agree with the last section--I've read so many comments bashing articles for not being "news" and saying things like "who the f*** cares?". The title of the article usually gives you a pretty good clue as to what the piece is going to be about. Also, there is an insatiable demand for new article content on the web. Writers have to create all kinds of stories from important news to fluff to feel good personal vignettes. Not everything has to be serious or important.

"I've been selling over 10 innertubes a week on Ebay BuyitNow $14.99 to Haitians."

Anyway, you get the idea. I guess maybe this is one of my guilty pleasures. It's not actually a pleasure though. More accurately, I'd label reading these comments as one of my "guilty procrastination habits".

Sunday, August 1, 2010

For the low, low price of...

I was looking for a replacement keyboard for my laptop (yeah, I know it's old!) and I found this offer for a new Dell keyboard. Not for what the other guys are charging--$45.00?! No way! How about $69.00? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I bet this company would club a baby seal to make a deal! (for those of you who didn't catch my UHF reference, I love baby seals and I honestly don't condone seal clubbing of any kind)