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Apple Threatens to Sue Over Another Steve Jobs Doll

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Three months to the day of his passing, it's still hard accepting that former Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs is really gone. With decades of influence still prevalent everywhere we look, we can't imagine that the man behind the Mac, the iPhone, and the iPad is no longer around to see his products entertain and evolve. So it stands to reason that many Apple fans would want to have some form of Steve -- however small or plastic -- by their side.

And thus explains the Steve Jobs figurine market -- loved by fans, despised by Apple.

It was over a year ago when M.I.C Gadgets offered up an $80 Steve Jobs figurine. Lovingly recreating the black turtleneck, high-rise jeans, and running shoes, the doll had a more "bobblehead feel" than a Marvel (DIS) figurine, given its head-to-body ratio, but with its Apple logo base and miniature iPhone, it still was an amusing send-up.

Apple, however, wasn't too pleased.

It didn't take long for Cupertino to put the kibosh on the Steve Jobs doll. M.I.C Gadgets' Chris Chang said, "Apple has informed us that this phenomenal SJ action figure, has not consented to the use of Apple's copyrights and trademarks, therefore they request us immediately to cease the marketing and sale of this figure."

Given the company's swift, litigious response, it's a little surprising another company would dare dip its toe in the Steve Jobs Doll waters again. But leave it to a Chinese manufacturer to take liberties with Apple's property.

This figurine, however, is far more detailed and lifelike -- to an unsettling degree. The $109.99 12-inch doll by In Icons is completely posable and bares a startingly accurate depiction of the departed chief.

But while the dolls are flying off the shelves and ending up on eBay (EBAY) at a premium, Apple is once again warming up its legal team. According to the Telegraph, Cupertino sent In Icons a letter which asks the Chinese company to cease sales of its popular item. As with the doll from M.I.C Gadgets, Apple cites California Civil Code Section 3344 which prohibits "prohibits the use of any person's name, photograph or likeness in a product without that person's prior consent."

But hopefully this won't stop In Icons from creating effigies of other titans of tech -- ones that capture the scruffy swagger of Google's (GOOG) Larry Page, the dunderheaded delusion of RIM's (RIMM) Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, or the sloping Uncle Fester look of Microsoft's (MSFT) Steve Ballmer.

The latter would make a tremendous Halloween gift.

(See also: Apple Will Become "Uncool" in 2012, Predicts Analyst and Apple's Headed for a Fall, Says Former Exec)

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POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.