Oklahoma Pageant Sued over 'Hello Kitty' Use

Jul 18, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Japanese company that owns the Hello Kitty brand has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against an Oklahoma child beauty pageant that reportedly used the cartoon cat's image on its tiaras and trophies.

Sanrio Co. filed the suit in federal court against Cherilyn Holden and Kristi Musick, who run beauty pageants in Oklahoma under the name Definitely Divas. The suit claims Definitely Divas used the image without permission in the "Tickle Me Pink" beauty pageant last September.

David Marchi, Sanrio's senior director of brand marketing, tells The Journal Record that the company learned of the pageant from a Hello Kitty fan who sent along a link to the pageant's Facebook page.

Neither Holden nor Musick returned calls seeking comment. Court records do not list an attorney for either woman.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.