The company MGA has been officially forbidden to make and sell the Bratz dolls. After a four year legal battle with Matel a federal judge banned MGA from making and selling its less than politely named competitor to Barbie in dollhouse domination.
“It’s a pretty sweeping victory,” Mattel attorney Michael Zeller said. “They have no right to use Bratz for any goods or services at all.”
U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson ordered that MGA must immediately stop manufacturing Bratz dolls, although allowing them to wait till after the holiday rush to get them off the shelves. Barbie will apparently still have some competition this Christmas.
The decision came as a shock to MGA, a decisive defeat for the toy newcomer. Since 2001, MGA’s Bratz dolls have given the more classic Barbie a good scare. This ruling is based on the fact that the developer of the toys, Carter Bryant, came up with the idea for the dolls while working for Mattel.
The same jury later awarded Mattel $10 million for copyright infringement and $90 million for breach of contract after a lengthy trial stemming from Mattel’s 2004 lawsuit ended in August.
From the original four bratz dolls that Bryant developed, MGA has produced more than 40 dolls and spins offs, expanding the Bratz line and cutting into Mattel’s previous monopoly on plastic disproportionate dolls. All these related toys to the original Bratz idea are officially canned now even though MGA argues that the later generation dolls don’t violate the original copyright.