The Corporate Law Group

Chick Fight

Barbie just won $100 million against Bratz. Former Mattel (Barbie) designer Carter Bryant, developed the Bratz concept for MGA Entertainment, Inc. Most of the damages were related to an employment contract between Mattel and Bryant. MGA was found liable for interference with contract and aiding and abetting Bryant’s breach of fiduciary obligations. Ten percent of the damages were assessed against MGA for copyright infringement. No punitive damages were awarded even though they could have been if intentional interference with contract was found, like in the infamous $11 billion Penzoil v. Texaco case. MGA claimed vindication and said that the amount Mattel was awarded was dwarfed by their demand. Bratz girlz Yasmin, Cloe, Jade and Sasha had taken food out of Barbie’s mouth. They might be right since MGA and its CEO Isaac Larian have built a billion dollar Bratz empire. Barbie sales slid as Bratz gained popularity, adding Bratz Boyz, Bratz Petz and Bratz Babyz. Bryant, maybe seeing the train wreck to come, settled with Mattel on the eve of trial. We’ve know for a long time that “girls toys” consisted of Barbie, while “boys toys” was everything else, so maybe it was time for some competition. Still, with an ounce of prevention………
Paul Marotta

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