December 4, 2008

Court rules Mattel Inc. owns Bratz dolls

A U.S. federal court ordered MGA Entertainment Inc. to stop making its popular Bratz dolls, ruling they were designed by a contracted Mattel Inc. employee.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson ruled the dolls' originator Carter Bryant was under an exclusive Mattel contract when he designed the dolls, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The court awarded Mattel up to $100 million for copyright infringement and ordered MGA to stop selling any product related to the Bratz name.

The original drawings of the doll belong to Mattel, the court said.

The ruling underscores what Mattel has said all along -- that MGA should not be allowed to profit from its wrongdoing, Mattel's Chief Executive Officer Robert Eckert said to the Times.

MGA CEO Issac Larian said he would appeal the decision, which could spell the end of his company.

Factually, the hardship on MGA weighs very heavily upon the court, Larson said in the Times' report. However, in the final analysis (the court) must afford this very little, if any, weight.