Friday, December 05, 2008

Bratz busted

The Los Angeles Times noted: U.S. District Judge Stephen G. Larson issued an order that handed the rights to the Bratz dolls and the Bratz name to Mattel which order arose from a July 2008 jury decision that the creator of the Bratz doll came up with the design while working for Mattel under an exclusivity contract. He took the design to MGA.

In copyright, unlike in patent, there is the concept of the work-for-hire doctrine. Bloomberg noted: The jury found that ex-Barbie designer Carter Bryant came up with the Bratz idea and made most of the original sketches for it while he was still at Mattel. It awarded Mattel $100 million in damages, 5 percent of the $2 billion the toymaker sought.

The Chicago Tribune pointed to an issue: The ruling was prompted by a dispute over the jury's verdict that did not indicate which dolls violated copyright infringement laws. The Bratz empire was founded on four dolls—Jade, Sasha, Yasmin and Cloe. MGA, which no longer makes these characters, argued that the other dolls did not violate the law and that they should be able to sell them.


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