Yesterday at GotchaChaCha I put the first of many Alphabet flash cards. They are by Milton Bradley and were made in 1957. Since I love CATS, the first to go up is C for Cat.
My research on these cards brought up an interesting lawsuit. The Vice President of Milton Bradley, had basically stolen the content of these and other flash cards from the Gelles-Widmer Company. He admitted as such, but claimed they were not protected by copyright, since the information in the flash cards is public domain (alphabet, math concept). The court ruled that though that was true, the way these concepts were arranged was indeed copyrighted and Milton Bradley was ruled against. There was a second part to this lawsuit, and that is The Gelles-Widmar Company claimed unfair competition by MB, and that part of the lawsuit was dismissed.*
The lawsuit even states that the VP literally copied the artwork on the cards to use on MB cards. He said he was in a rush to get product together to sell at a toy fair. That could explain why the pictures aren’t as sharp as you would think they would look.
Who knew such controversy in these simple, pretty flash cards.
*I am not a lawyer, so I may not know exactly what I am saying, you can see for your self at: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/313/143/317975/.