Mattel wins $100m Bratz pay-out

Mattel has been awarded $100m in its case against MGA, someway short of the $2bn it had asked for.
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The issue of whether MGA can continue to sell Bratz product will be decided at a later hearing by US District Judge Stephen Larson, who presided over the three-month trial.

In its suit, Mattel argued that it owned rights to the drawings and models upon which Bratz dolls were based because former Barbie designer Carter Bryant made them while he was under contract to Mattel.

In the first phase of the trial, the jury awarded all but four of the drawings and models Bryant made of the four Bratz prototypes to Mattel. In the damages phase, jurors were asked to decide whether Bratz dolls and accessories infringed on those drawings and models.

The panel found that while MGA Chief Executive Isaac Larian and his company were liable for copyright infringement, the infringement was not willful, and the jury awarded no punitive damages.

Despite the amount falling far short of the firm's own estimation of the damages it is owed, Mattel CEO Bob Eckert said in a statement the company was "pleased that the jury agreed with Mattel that what MGA did was wrong and that damages were awarded."

MGA said it would argue that the jury meant the damages to total just $40 million when it awarded $30 million against Larian and MGA on each of three counts of interfering in Bryant's contract with Mattel, plus $10 million for copyright infringement. In total it's $100m.

The judge will determine the total damages award at a later hearing, and will also decide whether MGA must pay Mattel a royalty to continue making and selling Bratz.

Larian told Reuters that MGA: "(has) been selling (Bratz) and is going to continue selling it.

"We are going to go 200 percent toward positive things like creativity and marketing instead of negative things like sitting in front of lawyers ... and being called a thief".

Source: Reuters

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