Monday, October 25, 2021

African American toy maker wins $73 million royalties from Hasbro

Johnson Research and Development Co. and founder Lonnie Johnson have been in a licensing dispute with Hasbro since February, when the company filed a claim against the giant toy company. (AJC SPECIAL)
Johnson Research and Development Co. and founder Lonnie Johnson have been in a licensing dispute with Hasbro since February, when the company filed a claim against the giant toy company. (AJC SPECIAL)

The Atlanta-based company behind the Super Soaker water gun and Nerf toy guns has been awarded nearly $73 million in royalties from toymaker Hasbro Inc., according to the law firm King & Spalding.

Johnson Research and Development Co. and founder Lonnie Johnson have been in a royalty dispute with Hasbro since February, when the company filed a claim against the giant toy company. According to King & Spalding, which along with the A. Leigh Baier P.C. law firm represented Johnson, Hasbro underpaid royalties for the Nerf line toys from 2007 to 2012.

“In the arbitration we got everything we asked for,” said Atlanta attorney Leigh Baier. “The arbitrator ruled totally in Lonnie’s favor.” The attorney also said Johnson “is very pleased” with the outcome.

Read more here.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Why does the headline state that it was an african American? What difference does it make what color the individual is? Racism in media alibr and well. e dont need to differentiate what color someone is when it has nothing to do with the story.

  2. Why does the headline state that it was an african American? What difference does it make what color the individual is? Racism in media alive and well. We dont need to differentiate what color someone is when it has nothing to do with the story.

  3. http://www.gofundme.com/8a4468 O God, as I face another day’s challenges, invade my thoughts with bigger and better ideas. Grant me the desire to perform my work with enthusiasm, Lord as a sacred duty in honor of You. Thank You for the loving and Charitable spirit You have bestowed upon each of us , that we will without reservations, or expectations, give form the heart and pay it forward. Amen.

  4. I can appreciate your concern because I debated it myself. But when I consider that if it was a female biz owner fighting a major company like this — I would have found that more interesting as well. So for some readers it is a relevant point. But I understand that others may disagree.

  5. Since this is a black focused publication, I assume that identifying the toy maker as African American is a point of pride. I don’t see it as racism when people in our community are looking for positive role models in as many diverse business fields as possible to inspire our children.

  6. Jerry I’m sure that his race was mentioned in this article for the reason that this is a huge victory for African American inventors who have been stolen from over 100 years with no retribution to the parties at fault

  7. I believe that it’s noteworthy to point out that Mr. Johnson is African American because how often in corporate America does a person of color win such a landmark decision?? If he was Caucasian, it wouldn’t be noteworthy because corporate America is dominated by that group.

  8. as an African American man, race is relative to me. White people ease take note, WE DO NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM WANTING TO SEE OUR OWN PEOPLE SUCCEED TO ‘RACISM’ There is a HUGE difference. I ask all peoe to arrive at other usefull words other than this overly simified overly used word called ‘racism’.

  9. My final thoughts to a suggestion that his race is not relevant, I honestly do feel quite frankly that it is incensitive to think that we as black people can go from (A) not being able to take advantage of the American dream through access to schools, jobs, neighborhoods (list goes on and on) to a place where we don’t acknowledge or race and wanting to see ‘US’ succeed is more of the white man telling us how we should feel. It incenses me actually. Its important to us, get over it.

  10. To ask the question why the headlines state that it was african american! Well, for african americans, it gives us a moral boost from all of the negative media portrayal of blacks that is displayed nightly, albeit inaccurately! Many inventions that blacks have actually had patented have been “stolen” or not given the proper credit! Besides this brother had to go to court to get his money! I, for one am very proud of him! Besides, even if they had omitted the term “african american” some would have complained as to why his picture is being shown? LOL!! Get it!!

  11. This Man is working on technology that can change the world yet people only want to talk about race. Pathetic! Google or You tube him and learn about what’s way more important than Race or Gender.

  12. You don’t seem to have that same indignation when it’s a crime and they use the term. It’s just an indicator…something that we use all the time across conversation. Everyone has characteristics. Redhead, women, little person, MS sufferer…. people are drawn to those to which they relate.

  13. Good news for Lonnie! I’ve always been impressed with his inventions. When I first read this headline I thought, “This is a well known inventor, why are they calling him African American? That’s stupid.” As I thought about it more, it is an attention grabber which is what the news needs. I do feel like A WELL KNOWN INVENTOR WON…., would’ve been just as good but if specifically seeing the words African American in a headline can potentially motivate an underachieving African American to realize their full potential then maybe it’s worth it. Either way, I Love Lonnie Johnsons story and he is an inspiration to me and I’m sure people of many different races. All HUMANS should be proud of this man.

  14. One issue I must say why as a black woman here in America, Allow white people to call us African Americans. With out calling them selves European Americans.

  15. Come on! This is America! Race is relevant because race matters in almost every aspect of this society. If you don’t understand why race is mentioned then you are out of touch with the reality of what this country has been and is about. Take a history lesson. To mention race is not racist or racism. Understand the meaning of something before you comment about it.

  16. So when we’re successful race is not relevant and when we’re not successful or we’re committing crime race is relevant? We need to have an honest conversation about race and stop acting as if race does not matter in a society based on a system of white supremacy, expecially when the reality all around us tells us that race matters on every possible level.

  17. I have another headline word choice complaint… Why say he “won…royalties” when what really happened was he won a dispute (in arbitration it seems) over royalties he earned. Getting paid money you are owed is not “winning” it is earning. The headline as written, undermines the legitimacy of his earnings.
    “African American toy maker wins $73 million royalties from Hasbro” might more accurately be:
    “Hasbro owed $73 million in unpaid royalties to African American toy inventor”

  18. Great article and nice read. I wish him luck for his road map. We create toy designs and 3d models. We are specialized in augmented reality app. Feel free to check our website http://www.steamrolleaststudio.com. Since this thread is related to toys, I thought if someone is interested in toys and 3D design or development feel free to check our website and contact us! Thanks.

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