Mattel Prevails over MGA in Ownership of Bratz Drawings
July 17, 2008

 

RIVERSIDE, Calif., Jul 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today in Federal Court, a 10-person jury has rendered a unanimous decision that the majority of Bratz design drawings, prototypes and sculpts were created by doll designer Carter Bryant while he was employed by Mattel. The jury has also determined that MGA and its CEO, Isaac Larian:


— intentionally interfered with the contractual duties owed by Bryant to Mattel;


— aided and abetted Bryant’s breach of his duty of loyalty;


— aided and abetted Bryant’s breach of the fiduciary duties he owed to Mattel; and


— converted Mattel property for their own use.


"This is a victory for all the hard-working people at Mattel who come together to create many of the most beloved toys for children. It is also a victory for all those who believe in fair play," said Robert A. Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer of Mattel, Inc.

 


He went on to say that "Mattel is home to many of the world’s most talented toy designers – they are the creative engine of the company. We want to ensure that Mattel’s Design Center is a place where concepts are built upon and enhanced by the entire team – not stolen for personal gain and to assist a competitor."

Under an Inventions Agreement with Mattel, Bryant assigned to Mattel all ownership rights of anything he created during his Mattel employment. Judge Stephen Larson, the Federal judge presiding over the case, previously had ruled that the Inventions Agreement is enforceable, and it applies to any Bratz-related "inventions" (including any designs, improvements, ideas, concepts, and copyrightable subject matter) that Bryant created during the period of his employment with Mattel. In addition, the Court ruled, as a matter of law, that Bryant breached his duty of loyalty to Mattel by "entering into a contract with Mattel’s competitor, while still employed by Mattel, to produce a line of fashion dolls to be marketed in direct competition with Mattel’s products."

In the next phase of the trial, due to begin shortly, the same jury will be asked to determine if Bratz dolls or related products infringe on the Bratz drawings and sculpts now owned by Mattel and whether certain procedural defenses asserted by MGA have merit. If the jury finds that the drawings do infringe, it will be asked to determine the amount of damages to be awarded to Mattel. On May 19, 2008, Bryant reached a confidential settlement with Mattel and is no longer a defendant in the litigation.

Mattel was represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, LLP, a 400-strong lawyer business litigation firm – the largest in the United States devoted solely to business litigation. The litigation team was lead by John Quinn, founder and managing partner at the firm, and partners Bill Price and Mike Zeller.

The trial of Mattel, Inc. v MGA Entertainment, Inc. began on May 27th, 2008 in United States District Court for the Central District of California in Riverside, Calif., and is being presided over by the Honorable Stephen G. Larson, United States District Judge.

About Mattel

Mattel, Inc., (NYSE:MAT) (www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. The Mattel family is comprised of such best-selling brands as Barbie(R), the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels(R), Matchbox(R), American Girl(R), Radica(R) and Tyco(R) R/C, as well as Fisher-Price(R) brands, including Little People(R), Power Wheels(R) and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. Mattel is recognized as one of 2008′s "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE Magazine. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs more than 30,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Mattel’s vision is to be the world’s premier toy brands — today and tomorrow.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

1 Comment

ARCHIVES

 

SPONSORS
BBTS-gen-250x250afi

 

liveauctioneers

 

300x250_aff_captsale

 

toys_apr21-star_300x250

 

tim-bruckner-250px

 

associates-trade-in_Edits_Associate_300x250

 

your-ad-here