/ July 20, 2008

Mattel Proclaimed Victor in Barbie v. Bratz

A recent lawsuit involving copyrights and intellectual property pitted one infamous toy maker against another. Mattel, an American icon known for its Barbie doll created in 1959 sued MGA Entertainment, the company responsible for the new-age Bratz dolls, claiming that designer Carter Bryant came up with the plans for the doll while he still clocking hours with Mattel. Bryant was employed with the worlds largest toy company for several years in the 1990’s when the idea for Bratz first came about. Soon after joining the MGA team, the line of hip and more importantly, money-making dolls came onto the market.

Since the introduction of Bratz around the world, Mattel has seen a frustrating decline in sales of their Barbie dolls now considered too traditional in comparison, while MGA has steadily raked in profits by the millions. Unfortunately for MGA, their increasing profits could now be considered their downfall. A judge has ruled in favor of Mattel’s argument that they are actually the rightful holders of all intellectual property behind the Bratz line. While MGA has already announced that they will appeal the decision , the entertainment company should beware as talks are already surrounding what the damages could be in such a high stakes case. It is almost guaranteed that MGA will owe Mattel millions from the profits they have purportedly stolen over the past seven years, but the more important question is whether or not MGA will be asked to turn over the rights for the entire line.

From the looks of Mattel’s homepage, the American toy giant is already busy celebrating their recent victory but in reality this case is long from over. Be on the lookout for more information regarding these rare but intriguing cases of your intellect or mine.

Source: BBC News

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