Barbie v. Bratz Chick Fight Still Rages
Wonder if anyone has calculated how many more young girls have developed bad self-body images from Barbies and sassy materialism from Bratz during the years that the respective doll makers--Mattel and MGA--have been slugging it out in court.
The latest twist came last week, when U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter in Santa Ana ruled El Segundo-based Mattel must pay Van Nuys-based MGA's $138 million in legal fees from the toy companies' long-raging, trade-secrets dispute.
Meanwhile, Carter rejected MGA's request for a new trial, something the company has wanted since January when a federal appeals court overturned a Santa Ana jury's verdict against Mattel to the tune of $310 million. Actually, the jury ruling could be perceived as an MGA "loss" since it sued for $1 billion of Mattel's fortune.
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In 2004, Mattel alleged MGA hired away a Mattel employee who had originally created the Bratz sketches for Mattel. A jury in 2008 awarded the worldwide toy brand a cool $100 million. But the 9th District Court of Appeals overturned that verdict, so the case went back to Carter's courtroom, where the new jury sided with MGA. That's what the appeals court reversed again.
MGA said it was "pleased" by Carter's legal fees ruling and will keep pushing for a new trial. Mattel said it was "very pleased" by Carter's rejection of a new trial and figures this should end the dispute.
Geez, each company's CEO should resolve this childish spat where it belongs: on the playground!
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