Will Bratz fade from the scene now?
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A trial that pitted Mattel Inc. against Bratz-maker MGA Entertainment Inc. brought a $100 million jury award for the house of Barbie, but the legal battle is far from over.
Still at question is whether MGA can continue to make and market its saucy, urban-influenced dolls - and if it can, whether it will have to pay Mattel royalties for those rights.
Mattel attorneys said after Tuesday's verdict that they intend to seek an injunction as soon as next month to stop MGA from making more Bratz dolls.
The federal panel found MGA, chief executive Isaac Larian, and subsidiary MGA Hong Kong liable for copyright infringement and awarded $10 million in damages in that category. They also awarded about $90 million related to breach of contract.
However, the panel was not asked to specify which dolls they found were in violation of Mattel's copyright. If Mattel moves for an injunction, US District Court Judge Stephen Larson would have to discern the jury's intent.
At the heart of the issue are the initial sketches done by designer Carter Bryant while conceiving the Bratz concept. In an earlier phase of the trial, the same jury found that Bryant worked at Mattel under an exclusivity deal when the drawings were made and all but four belonged to Mattel.
Larian, however, said the jury's relatively small award for copyright infringement showed the panel felt only the earliest dolls were based on Bryant's initial sketches. His attorneys will argue against the injunction for all but the first dolls, Larian said.