22 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2016

See all articles by Dan Hunter

Dan Hunter

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Greg Lastowka

Rutgers School of Law

Date Written: August 15, 2015


Intellectual property laws are the means by which corporations allow access to their products. Mattel Inc.’s Barbie doll is highly dependent on the intellectual property system, and this Essay provides the first serious account of the development of Barbie as an object of intellectual property. It demonstrates the significance of Barbie as an intellectual property object, and it traces how intellectual property laws emerged as such a powerful technology of control in the period from Barbie’s birth in 1959 to the present. The Essay also shows that the great unrecognized feature of the intellectual property system is its ability to manipulate desire.

Keywords: Barbie, trademark, intellectual property, branding

Suggested Citation

Hunter, Dan and Lastowka, Greg, BarbieTM (August 15, 2015). 18 Tulane Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property 133-60 (2015), Available at SSRN: or

Dan Hunter (Contact Author)

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Greg Lastowka

Rutgers School of Law ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States


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