Lonnie Johnson (pictured above), the founder of Johnson Research and Development Co. and founder of the Super Soaker, has been awarded a nearly $73 million settlement from Hasbro Inc. for unpaid royalties, reports the AJC.com.
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.
The arbitration agreement resolves a 2001 inventors dispute in which Hasbro agreed to pay Johnson royalties for products covered by his Nerf line of toys, specifically the N-Strike and Dart Tag brands, King & Spalding attorney Ben Easterlin said.
In a separate breach of contract suit filed in U.S. District Court inAtlanta in February, Johnson accuses Hasbro of violating a 1996 agreement to pay him Super Soaker royalties of 2 percent for “three-dimensional products” based on the appearance of the toy and 1 percent for “two-dimensional visual representations.”
Johnson, a nuclear engineer, Tuskegee University Ph.D. and former NASA scientist, founded his company in 1989. Johnson holds more than 80 patents, with more than 20 pending, the company said, which said sales of the Super Soaker have approached nearly $1 billion.