Gold Diggers In Doll's House - U.S Judges Scan Records of Betty Boop and Kiki (1938)

Competition was too keen. Manufacturer's appeal from perjury court is heard. The Judges of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals inspected gravely today the petite figures of Betty Boop and Kiki, two dolls which have been silent witnesses in two Federal trials and then reserved decision on the appeal from the perjury conviction of Ralph A. Freundlich, millionaire doll manufacturer, of 27 West Eighty-sixth street.

Freundlich was sentenced to three months in the Federal House of Detention last June by Federal Judge John W. Clancy. According to the indictment, which was tried by Assistant United States Attorney John J. Dowling, the perjury was committed in 1934-1935 while Freundlich was being sued for copyright infringement by Fleischer Studios Inc, originators of the cartoon character Betty Boop.

It was charged that the Freunlich doll, Kiki was an infringement of Betty Boop and the jury before Judge John M. Woolsey agreed with this contention. Damages of $5 for each doll made and sold were allowed the Fleischer organization and the case was sent to a Special Master to determine the total sum to be fixed.

Freundlich, called as a witness in the hearing testified that his firm had made and sold 676 copies of Kiki. It was shown from accountants reports and the books of the firm, however that 15,000 Kiki dolls were made and 5,500 sold. An indictment was obtained against Freundlich.

Mr. Dowling, who also argued the appeal before the Circuit Court produced the two dolls which had figured in the case for comparison by Judges Learned Hand, Thomas W. Swan and Augustus N. Hand.

Betty Boop had been beat described earlier by Judge Woolsey in the following paragraph:

"The character which was depicted combined in appearance the childish with the sophisticated - a round baby face with big eyes and a nose like a button. Framed in a cartoon shown all over the world presented a strong temptation to an infringer."

If the decision goes against Freundlich in the Circuit Court Betty Boop and Kiki may make a trip to Washington to visit the Supreme Couty.