Barbie, the iconic doll from Mattel, Inc., has another reason to smile this year. A federal judge recently allowed a $100 million jury verdict in favor of the plastic princess to stand in a copyright infringement case against MGA Entertainment, Inc., over the strikingly similar Bratz dolls. In the case of Carter Bryant v. Mattel Inc., 2:04-cv-9049 (C. D. Cal. 2009), the Central District of California upheld the verdict, finding that MGA must pay Mattel damages for both copyright infringement and tortious interference with the creator’s employment. In a case that is far from child's play, Mattel sued then-employee Carter Bryant, claiming that he violated terms in his employment contract that gave Mattel rights to all dolls that Bryant designed while he was a Mattel employee, which included the design for the edgier Bratz dolls. The case also included a claim that the Bratz dolls infringed on Mattel's copyrights for the Barbie dolls. While Bryant has settled individually with Mattel, the $100 million verdict and accompanying stay in production could create major problems for MGA. When it comes to copyright infringement, this case shows that, with some toys, it's not OK to share.
- Checklist Checklist: Considerations prior to issuing court proceedings (UK) Recently updated
- How-to guide How-to guide: The legal framework for resolving disputes in England and Wales (UK) Recently updated
- Checklist Checklist: Pre-appointment checks to consider when selecting an appointed representative (UK)