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Mattel Stops Bratz in the US

Mattel Stops Bratz in the US

December 11, 2008

Following up to our earlier blog post, a new decision has been issued in the ongoing legal battle between Mattel, the makers of Barbie dolls, and MGA, the makers of Bratz.  Last week Mattel was able to get an injunction to stop Bratz being used on any goods or services at all. This is a sweeping victory for Mattel although MGA Entertainment (the makers of Bratz) will be allowed to wait until after the end of the holiday season to remove their existing stocks from stores.  Although the decision was favourable to MGA in this regard, it was not in other ways. The injunction also ordered that MGA reimburse its vendors and distributors for the cost of the dolls and all shipping charges for sending them back which is going to cost millions of dollars.

In a surprising move the injunction also named all 40 of the dolls in the Bratz line including the 4 original dolls. A debate that has arisen since the decision back in August on whether the decision found that only the four original dolls infringed Mattel’s copyright or whether all 40 of the dolls currently offered as well as other related toys including Bratz Boyz and Bratz Petz are also infringing.

This dispute is far from over and MGA has announced that it will immediately appeal the injunction and it is also going to appeal the August decision. Other likely legal battles include the question of whether the entire Bratz brands infringes copyright  and also  a clarification of how much was actually awarded in damages (If you remember from our earlier blog post this was unclear).

Once again this case highlights the importance of companies auditing their IP.  MGA has made over $778 million on the Bratz line but now they may loose their entire brand simply because they did not fully research the intellectual property issues behind its creation.