BRATZ/BARBIE: Mattel seeks nearly $2 billion

Mattel trial against Bratz doll maker MGA awaits jury decision over damages.
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Closing stages of the trial heard Mattel argue that MGA should surrender Bratz profits of more than $1 billion plus chief executive Isaac Larian's profit of $789.5 million.

The Barbie manufacturer also asked the jury to award unspecified punitive damages against MGA.

MGA said it has taken in revenues of $3.1 billion on Bratz merchandise since the brand was launched in 2001.

MGA attorney Raul Kennedy told the panel that Mattel's sole aim in seeking the damages award was "wiping a competitor off the face of the Earth."

In a court filing, the firm also said its business would be "ruined immediately" if the jury awards damages "anywhere approaching the amounts sought by Mattel."

Last month, a ten member jury decided that former Barbie designer, Carter Bryant, had designed the Bratz dolls while still employed by Mattel and awarded the firm rights to all but four of Bryant's drawings and models.

MGA attorneys argued this week that its designers had changed Bryant's drawings substantially to the point that they do not infringe on Mattel's drawings.

The company also said Mattel had not recognised the potential of Bryant's drawings until Bratz started affecting Barbie's market share and was trying to take through a lawsuit what it could not create.

MGA attorney Thomas Nolan said: "Mattel says this is a map to the Holy Grail but Mattel has never put forward any evidence that says this was a Mattel project."

Mattel lawyer John Quinn argued: "If you compete the right way you get to keep the profits; if you compete the wrong way, you have to give up your profits."

Jury deliberations are scheduled to start today.

(Reuters)

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