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Flintstones go to court

LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge must decide if the reputations of Fred, Wilma and their friends -- as well as the sanctity of the phrase 'Yabba Dabba Doo!' -- are being damaged by a motel offering guests a night in the 'Flintstone Room.'

Hanna-Barbera Productions Inc. filed suit last week against the Madonna Inn of San Luis Obispo, a gaudy pink motel on the Central California coast, for copyright infringement of the cartoon characters.

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The suit charged the Madonna Inn's 'Flintstone Room' features the word Flintstone, likenesses of Fred and Wilma and the phrase 'Yabba Dabba Do (sic),' which Fred yells out 'when he is especially pleased or excited.'

Hanna-Barbera's attorneys are asking for an unspecified amount of monetary damages and an injunction prohibiting the Madonna Inn from using the likenesses of Fred and Wilma as well as the words 'Yabba Dabba Doo,' whether it is spelled with one 'O' or two.

'They haven't got a leg to stand on,' motel owner Alexander Madonna said of the suit. Madonna said he has had the 'Flintstone Room' in operation for 10 years.

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