You guys know the hugely popular Bratz doll that was all the craze and the number 4 toy for girls in 2001? Mattel, the maker of Barbie, put its dukes up against MGA Entertainment Inc., maker of Bratz.
Mattel felt a certain kind of way when the creator of the Bratz dolls, Carter Bryant, created the big-headed, pouty-mouthed, scantily clad hip-hop dolls while still working for Mattel. So, Mattel sued the pants off of MGA and banned them from making or distributing the dolls.
The jury later awarded Mattel $10 million dollars for copyright infringement and $90 million for breach of contract after a long, drawn out trial that ended in August 2008. The verdict was later overturned.
MGA Entertainment appealed and, on April 21, 2011, a U.S.District Court in Santa Ana,Calif., found that Mattel did not own the concept for MGA’s Bratz dolls. Mattell said that the Bratz designer had come up with the designs and concept while working at Mattel. Bryant said he came up with the concept in 1998.
In addition to finding out that Mattel did not own the Bratz sketches, the Santa Ana jury awarded MGA $88 million in damages for misappropriation of trade secrets. MGA Chief Executive Officer Isaac Larian said he hoped the verdict sends a message to Mattel that it’s not OK to bully small entrepreneurs who are just trying to break into the industry.
Oooo! [Laughing] Where’s the popcorn? MGA is laughing all the way to the bank. –tammie reed