Atlanta (WAOK/AJC) — According to the law firm of King & Spalding, arbitrators ruled in favor of Atlanta area inventor Lonnie Johnson and Johnson Research and Development Company. Johnson has been awarded close to $73 million in royalty payment from Hasbro Inc. for the invention of Nerf toy guns and the Super Soaker water gun that Hasbro manufactures and distributes.
Lonnie Johnson and Johnson Research and Development Company is an Atlanta-based organization that has been in a royalty dispute with Hasbro since February of this year over underpaid royalties for the N-Strike and Dart Tag brand of product under his Nerf toy line. Hasbro had not fully paid Johnson his share of moneys from the sale of these toys from 2007 to 2012. The arbitrators ruling also resolves an investment dispute between Johnson’s company and Hasbro. In addition to the judgment for Hasbro Inc. to pay Johnson for the Nerf toy line, a separate breach of contract lawsuit that accused Hasbro of violating terms set in 1996 to pay Johnson royalties of 2 percent and 1 percent for three-dimensional products and two dimensional representations of Super Soakers, respectively, was also filed in February and was settled.
Johnson is a nuclear engineer with over 80 patents who holds a Ph.D. from Tuskegee University and is a former NASA scientist. He founded the research company that bears his first name in 1989 and in that same year licensed the Super Soaker water gun to Larami Corporation, which was purchased by Hasbro Inc. The Super Soaker water gun has generated sales approaching $1 billion.
Written by Sherman H. Smith Jr (WAOK/Intern)