Court Stunner: Bratz Dolls Beat Barbie

Mattel must pay millions to rival doll maker
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2011 2:47 PM CDT
MGA's Bratz Beat Mattel's Barbie in Court
This file product image provided by MGA Entertainment shows part of the 2010 collection of Bratz dolls.   (AP Photo/MGM Entertainment)

(Newser) – A long-fought court battle between the makers of Bratz and Barbie has been decided—and Bratz are the surprise victors, the Los Angeles Times reports. The federal jury said Bratz maker MGA Entertainment had neither infringed on Mattel’s copyright nor stolen trade secrets, and that Mattel doesn’t own the rights to Bratz. The jury found that Mattel was the one stealing secrets, and owed MGA $88.5 million for it—just one chunk of the damages the Barbie maker must pay.

Mattel holds that the creator of Bratz, Carter Bryant, thought up Bratz while working at Mattel, then handed it to MGA. A lower court had awarded Mattel $100 million in damages and told MGA to give Mattel control of the big-headed, sexily dressed dolls. An appeals court disagreed, saying Mattel couldn’t stake a claim on every doll with an attitude. Though MGA won today, the years-long fight may have hurt the Bratz brand, the Times notes. (Read more Bratz stories.)

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