Carter Bryant takes the stand in Bratz trial

The witness began his testimony last week, which is expected to last several days.
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Carter Bryant, the creator of Bratz, appeared in federal court in Santa Ana during the retrial.

During two and a half hours of questioning by Mattel's lawyer, Bill Price, on Thursday, Bryant testified about several issues, including the dates he created the original Bratz drawings, and his contract, or inventions agreement, with Mattel.

Bryant repeatedly answered Price's questions with 'I don't remember' or 'I don't know.' Most of the questions related to the period from 1995, when Bryant first began working for Mattel, and 2002, after the dolls had became a hit.

Mattel's lawyers have noted Bryant's difficulty in proving that he came up with the idea for the dolls and did drawings as early as 1998.

Although several of the original Bratz drawings have his name and the year 1998 written on them, the lawyers pointed out he didn't get them officially notarised until August 1999, when he was under Mattel's employment, and that 1998 could have been added at any time.

Price asked: “It's fair to say you have no recollection of that date being put on that drawing in 1998?"

Bryant answered: “No, I don’t. I don't know when it was put on there."

While working for Mattel, Bryant signed a contract prohibiting him from taking ideas to, or working on projects that would help the company's competitors.

MGA has argued that even if Bryant worked on the dolls while he was a Mattel employee, he did so in his free time.

When asked about the inventions agreement, Bryant said: “I don’t think I had a real clear concept of this contract during my employment. I don’t think it was ever explained to me fully.

"I think I thought that the thoughts that I had on my own time were my thoughts and didn’t necessarily belong to anyone else."

Price then asked Bryant if he believed that a design idea would not belong to Mattel if he came up with it at 8pm, after work hours, but it was related to something he worked on in the office at 4pm.

“I think more what I’m saying is that projects that I was working on specifically for Mattel, if I had thoughts about that after hours, that yeah that would be a Mattel thing," Bryant said. "But if I had original things that I was thinking about, that those weren't necessarily [Mattel's]."

Outside the court, Bryant commented of the trial: "It's time for it to be over."

On the eve of the first trial, Bryant settled with Mattel for $2 million. He is no longer a defendant in the case.


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