A federal appeals court ruled today that El Segundo-based Mattel does not have the rights to the entire Bratz line.
Mattel had claimed that the line of dolls was under its ownership because the Bratz concept was conceived by former employee Carter Bryant while he was still under Mattel employment.
"Unlike the relatively demure Barbie, the urban, multiethnic and trendy Bratz dolls have attitude,'' Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in the ruling. "This spunk struck a chord, and Bratz became an overnight success. Mattel,which produces Barbie, didn't relish the competition. And it was particularly unhappy when it learned that the man behind Bratz was its own former employee, Carter Bryant.''
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According to The Daily Breeze, the justices at the court of appeals found that the trial judge, who assigned Bratz line rights to Mattel, had wrongly instructed the jury regarding Bryant's employment agreement with Mattel. The court also ruled that it was wrong to assign the entire Bratz line to Mattel-- including games, movies and future dolls and accessories, since those items were developed at MGA.
"America thrives on competition," Kozinski wrote, "Barbie, the all-American girl, will
-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.