Property, intangible

a blog about ownership of intellectual property rights and its licensing

MGA Smackdown

MGA Entertainment has asked for, and was granted, an expedited hearing for a stay of the injunction pending its appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The hearing will be May 18. In expected fashion, MGA couldn’t pass up an opportunity for a smackdown in its press release:

Mattel’s iteration of the brand will necessarily bear little resemblance to MGA’s Bratz. Because the 12/3 Orders only grant Mattel “ownership” over two dimensional drawings and a single sculpt that materially varies from the Bratz products on the market today, Mattel will have to design its own Bratz dolls, and entirely new environs for those dolls to live in. Although MGA may no longer label them “Bratz,” the vast majority of the Bratz brand, as well as the packaging, fashions, face paint, and marketing campaigns still belong exclusively to MGA—as do all of the Bratz characters outside the original four.

Yet the evidence in this case, and the harsh reality of the market place, have already demonstrated that creativity and innovative thinking are not Mattel’s strong suit, as evidenced by Mattel’s repeated failures to capture any meaningful share of the “tween” market through their ill-fated “Flavas” line, among others. Mattel’s devotion to Barbie and the corporate culture that Mattel has developed to support its hegemony in the toy industry present a very real danger to Bratz as a brand and to the availability of choice to consumers.

© 2009 Pamela Chestek

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