Barbie trumps Bratz in the end of 15 year trade secret dispute

Any child of the 90’s (like the author of this article!) will be very aware of barbie and Bratz dolls and the desperation as a child to have them all.

It seems behind the scenes the two dolls were at war, or shall we say the two doll makers.

In 2004 Mattel, the creator of Barbie, filed a claim against Carter Bryant. Bryant was a former employee of Mattel, who left and joined MGA. Soon after, MGA and Bryant created the designs for the Bratz dolls which were a massive hit.

Mattel claim that Bryant infringed their copyright and breached their trade secrets when in their new employment.

There was a settlement in 2008, but another claim was filed by Mattel this time against MGA, claiming $1 Billion in damages and the ownership of the Bratz brand. MGA fought back with counterclaims and the matter went to trial.
The matter went back and forth in terms of victory with Mattel’s success in 2011 being overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

The matter was tried again with the initial victory this time going in MGA’s favour but this was again thrown out on appeal.

Mattel has won the latest fight however, as they filed a successful motion to dismiss against the MGA claim filed at state level in LA.

It seems that this will be the end of the matter and the fights in the toy aisle will stop.

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