Do secret drawings hold key to Mattel Bratz claim?

Court papers filed in Central California have taken Mattel's fight over ownership of the original Bratz concept to a new level.  
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The US toy maker claims it has obtained drawings of the original Bratz line-up made by former employee Carter Bryant during his Mattel employment in either 1999 or 2000.

These latest moves, reported in the Wall Street Journal, are the latest in a legal fight over the successful doll that now competes with Barbie in all major territories.

In 2004, Mattel sued Bryant, charging that he secretly worked for a competitor while still employed by Mattel and that he misappropriated intellectually property.

The company asked a federal judge to allow it to amend the lawsuit based on the new information that emerged this week, and also filed for copyright protection on a number of the drawings.

Bratz manufacturer MGA, meanwhile, has pulled no punches in its reply.

It accused Mattel of seeking "revenge on a few people who have chosen to work for a better, more innovative toy company after realising that Mattel has lost touch with its consumers and is hopelessly caught in a downward spiral resulting from mismanagement".

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