Intellectual Property Law

Defendant Proclaims Victory Over Bratz Damages of $100M

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Mattel Inc. had sought more than $2 billion, including punitives, in the damages phase of a copyright infringement and contractual rights suit against the manufacturer of the saucy Bratz dolls.

So when a federal jury in California awarded $100 million today, it was the defendant, MGA Entertainment Inc., that proclaimed victory, reports the Associated Press. (An earlier version of the AP article incorrectly said the award was only $40 million.)

”This jury found there was no guilt,” Isaac Larian, MGA’s chief executive officer, was quoted as saying in the earlier AP article.

The jury was the same one that last month found that Carter Bryant, the designer of the Bratz dolls, thought of the concept while he was working at Mattel.

“The issue of whether MGA can continue to sell its flagship product will be decided at a later hearing by U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson, who presided over the trial,” reports a Reuters article on the verdict.

It says Mattel was awarded $100 million, and NBC affiliate KNBC-TV, in Los Angeles, gives the figure as $99 million—$90 million for Bryant’s breach of contract and $9 million in damages for unauthorized use of copyrighted material.

“We’re disappointed that they awarded any damages,” attorney Thomas Nolan, lead counsel for MGA, tells the station. However, “we think the jury’s finding is a significant rebuke to Mattel’s aggressive and overreaching tactics.”

Updated at 11:30 a.m., central time, on Aug. 27, 2008 to include information from subsequent AP coverage.

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