Jury Rules Against Mattel Over Bratz

The dispute over the popular Bratz dolls ended with a legal shocker: A federal court jury found the toy giant Mattel does not own the rights to the Bratz dolls, and that the company had willfully and maliciously misappropriated trade secrets from its smaller rival, MGA Entertainment. The lawsuit began when Mattel charged that doll designer Carter Bryant developed the hit dolls while working for Mattel in 1999, then secretly took the design to MGA. MGA denied the claims and countersued. Initially, a jury awarded Mattel $100 million, but the verdict was overturned, and now a federal court has ruled against Mattel. Though his company won the case, the CEO of MGA, Isaac Larian, wept while listening to the verdict. “Mattel killed the Bratz brand,” he said. “It is never going to be the same level as it was before.”