The case that started almost three years ago has concluded. A federal jury in Santa Ana, California found that Bratz dolls are the intellectual property of MGA. This is a huge reversal, as three years ago, in the first trial of this case, a jury found that MGA’s Bratz dolls had infringed on Mattel’s copyrights. Mattel was then awarded $100 million. The rights to the Bratz dolls have been a long dispute between Mattel and MGA. Case after case emerged between the two toymaking companies.
According to Law.com, “Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has settled a dispute with former client MGA Entertainment Inc. over work associated with a copyright lawsuit against Mattel Inc. over the Bratz doll.” Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP were involved in a dispute over legal fees with MGA Entertainment. Ultimately there was a $23 million lien over a $137 million trade secret verdict in the “Barbie v Bratz” intellectual property cases. At this time there has been a settlement, disclosed in federal court this month, where an arbitration panel awarded Orrick the lien on the proceeds of MGA’s long-running litigation with Mattel Inc.
Currently, an 8 person jury found that Mattel did not own the rights to the Bratz dolls and that MGA did not steal Mattel’s trade secrets. Attorneys representing MGA commented, “The jury completely rejected Mattel’s claims of ownership of Bratz. MGA owns Bratz once and for all.” The jury found that Mattel stole MGA’s trade secrets via corporate espionage. MGA was awarded $88.4 million in damages that may be tripled.
Mattel’s CEO Robert Eckert commented that he was “disappointed by the verdict, but we remain committed to protecting the intellectual property that is at the heart of business success.” Attorney’s representing Mattel will push ahead. They will ask the judge to set aside the verdict. Mattel’s CEO stated that the company remains committed to protecting their trade secrets, regardless of the results of any single case. “MGA’ s claims against us were simply not supported by the evidence at trial. Once the judge rules on our motions, we will evaluate our next steps.” And so this saga possibly continues. Mattel is an American toy making company based in El Segundo, California.
Founded in 1945, they are best known for famous toys such as the Barbie© doll, Matchbox, Fisher Price, and Hot Wheels. MGA Entertainment is a Los Angeles, California founded in 1979. They primarily produce dolls and toys with their leading product being the Bratz doll franchise.