RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge upheld a $100 million
jury verdict Monday for Mattel Inc. in a lengthy legal battle over
rights to the Bratz doll, a rival to Mattel's Barbie.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson also confirmed in his ruling
late Monday that the Bratz doll - marketed by MGA Entertainment
Inc. since 2001 - is Mattel property. He appointed a temporary
federal receiver to take control of the Bratz brand and MGA's
The receiver will decide who produces the doll and under what
terms, but the order authorizes the receiver to maximize profits by
"selling Bratz-branded dolls and other goods through appropriate
channels of trade and distribution."
Mattel attorneys have said in court that the company is willing
and able to produce Bratz dolls once receivership issues are
MGA President Isaac Larian said his company will appeal the
Mattel sued MGA in 2004, alleging that Bratz designer Carter
Bryant developed the concept for the pouty-lipped doll while
working for Mattel.
After a four-year legal dispute, a jury last year awarded Mattel
$10 million for copyright infringement and $90 million for breach
After the verdict, Mattel sought to block MGA from ever making
the Bratz dolls, and Larson ordered the company in December to end
its sales in early 2009.
MGA argued that retailers would not order the toys unless the
court could guarantee they would remain in stores through most of
this year. MGA got a reprieve in January when Larson ruled that the
dolls could remain in stores for the rest of the year.
He left open the possibility that Mattel or a court-appointed
receiver could ultimately market the dolls this year.
A hearing is scheduled for May 18 to discuss whether the
receivership should be made permanent.