Mattel awarded $100 mn in Barbie-Bratz spat

Written by Agencies | Los Angeles, August 27: | Updated: Aug 27 2008, 21:20pm hrs
A US jury has awarded Barbie-maker Mattel Inc. USD 100 million in damages in its copyright fight against MGA Entertainment, whose popular Bratz doll has given Barbie a run for her money.

The judge will have to decide on the final figure, but the California jury's verdict that was reached yesterday is far below the USD 1.8 billion that Mattel had sought against the maker of the pouty-lipped Bratz.

Mattel indicated, however, that its legal battle may not be over. The verdict did not decide who has the right to make the Bratz doll.

"We have an obligation to our employees and to our shareholders to defend ourselves against competitors who engage in unfair business practices against us," Mattel chief executive Bob Eckert said in a statement.

"The jury's verdict is only one stage in deciding what relief Mattel will ultimately be entitled to for MGA's and (MGA boss Isaac) Larian's misconduct, and we will await the Court's final decisions on damages and other relief to which Mattel is entitled," Eckert said.

"Regardless of the final amount set by the Court, we are pleased that the principles of fair play and fair competition that prompted Mattel to bring suit in the first place have prevailed."

A jury had sided last month with Mattel, which says Bratz creator Carter Bryant designed the doll while he was still working for Mattel. Bryant entered into a contract with California-based MGA, licensing Bratz to them in September 2000, while he worked for Mattel, which he left one month later.