Here we have the conclusion to the MGM vs. Mattel (Bratz vs. Barbie) copyright infringement trial that has likely kept you glued to your seats. Let’s refresh:
In a copyright-infringement lawsuit, Mattel had alleged that Carter Bryant, a designer of its Barbie line, came up with the concept for Bratz when he worked at Mattel in the late 1990s. Mattel claimed that Mr. Bryant violated his “inventions agreement” by taking the drawings for the dolls to MGA when he went to work there.
Mattel argued that the contract entitled it to all of Mr. Bryant’s ideas, even those he developed on nights and weekends.
MGA denied the allegations and countersued, accusing Mattel of engaging in corporate spying and unfair business practices when it realized it couldn’t compete against the blockbuster toy. MGA claimed Mattel stole trade secrets, in part by sending spies with fake identification to toy fairs.
What an incredibly fun job it must have been for those people who got paid to go to toy fairs as spies. Alas, all good things do come to an end.
Not only did the jury reject Mattel’s claim to ownership of the Bratz franchise, but it backed counterclaims by MGA that Mattel had stolen trade secrets from its smaller rival, awarding MGA damages of $88.5 million.
Translation: Suck it, Barbie! [via The Wall Street Journal]