Mattel Wins Bratz!
by Pamela Chestek • July 18, 2008 • copyright
Following up on a previous post, in an unsurprising outcome the AP is reporting that the jury found that the designer of the Bratz dolls conceived of the idea while employed at Mattel, hence the concept is owned by Mattel. It’s not quite clear from the AP article what exactly Mattel owns, since the article says that “jurors must still decide if Mattel owns any copyrights involving Bryant’s drawings. If so, the jury must rule on whether the dolls infringe on those copyrights.”
Previous post here.
Verdict uploaded here.
The jury decided whether various pieces of evidence, the idea for the Bratz dolls, and the name “Bratz” were “conceived or reduced to practice” while the designer was at Mattel. The answer was “yes” to largely all (and not responding on the four remaining items). There were also various findings in favor of Mattel for MGA’s intentional interference with contract, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of duty of loyalty, all presumably related to the designer’s employment agreement with Mattel. So no verdict specifically for copyright, but what should follow is a holding that Mattel is the owner of the designer’s work on Bratz, and to the extent it is protected by copyright MGA an infringer.