Bratz case hit by further litigation

US artist files copyright suit against MGA and Mattel alleging the Bratz dolls infringe his copyrights.
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Despite Mattel winning an injunction against MGA Entertainment in a copyright suit that effectively forced MGA to shut down its Bratz business, the case looks set to go back to court.

Artist Bernard Belair first learned about the alleged infringement last year by reading news reports about the MGA-Mattel trial.

There, Cater Bryant, the doll's creator and centre of previous battles, testified that his inspiration for the Bratz doll stemmed from Steve Madden shoe advertisements, which he'd seen in Seventeen Magazine.

Belair, an artist and a photographer from Brooklyn, claims that he is the creator and copyright owner of the images used in the ads, which his lawyers describe as creatures with "large heads, large oval eyes, small bodies, and larger feet."

Belair's lawyers allege that Bryan's sketches for the Bratz dolls were based on Belair's images.

In addition to suing MGA for copyright infringement, Belair is also suing Mattel because it was enriched by the litigation with MGA.

MGA declined to comment. Mattel, which will be represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges in the suit, had not been served and had no comment.


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The Copyrights Group is one of the licensing arms within The Vivendi Group. Acquired by Vivendi in 2016 Copyrights manages the licensing for a portfolio of properties to include Paddington Bear. Some of the other companies within the Vivendi Group include Universal Music Group, and their licensing arm Bravado, Gameloft and Studiocanal to name a few.