In a mud-slinging fight that has been raging for years, a federal jury this week found in favor of MGA Entertainment Inc.’s claim that Mattel has misappropriated trade secrets, awarding the maker of Bratz dolls a nearly $89 million in damages.
The jury also found that MGA had interfered with designer Carter Bryant’s contract with Mattel, and awarded $10,000 award to Mattel.
The fight began when Mattel claimed that a Barbie designer, Carter Bryant, came up with the concept for the Bratz dolls when he worked at Mattel in the late 1990s. Bratz dolls sold $billions, which prompted the suit. Over the years, MGA claimed that Mattel engaged in unfair business practices and corporate espionage when they realized they couldn’t compete against the smaller company’s blockbuster toy.
But now with Bratz selling less than $100,000 over the past eight months, was all this fighting really worth it?