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Intellectual Property Law

Mattel Ordered to Pay $225M in Punitives, Attorney’s Fees and Costs in Bratz Doll Case

Posted Aug 4, 2011 7:55 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., today nearly trebled the $88 million that Mattel Inc. was earlier ordered to pay a competitor in a hard-fought case over the rights to the popular Bratz doll line.

Mattel must pay MGA Entertainment Inc. $85 million in punitive damages and $2.5 million in attorney's fees and costs in addition to the earlier $88 million verdict in the trade-secrets case the Bratz maker filed against the renowned toymaker, ruled U.S. District Judge David Carter. Plus, Mattel owes MGA another $137 million in attorney's fees and costs for forcing it to defend an unreasonable copyright case, Bloomberg reports.

"Mattel asserted a copyright claim that was stunning in scope and unreasonable in relief it requested," Carter said in a written opinion. "The claim imperiled free expression, competition, and the only serious competitor Mattel had faced in the fashion doll market in nearly 50 years."

As detailed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, the April verdict was a huge reversal of fortune for Mattel, which had been awarded $100 million in an initial trial of the case and had sought as much as $1 billion in damages. However, the award could have been even worse, from Mattel's standpoint: Carter could have trebled the $88 million verdict, due to a finding of willfulness, rather than simply doubling it.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Mattel Loses Latest Bratz Doll Trial, Owes MGA $88M, Possibly Trebled"

ABAJournal.com: "After Reversal-of-Fortune Win, Bratz Doll Maker Seeks $130M in Legal Fees"

ABAJournal.com: "Orrick Seeks to Withdraw from Bratz Case, Cites $1.2M in Unpaid Fees"

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