Is this the last Christmas for MGA's Bratz Dolls?
The dolls that rivaled Barbie - Bratz dolls - have to come off store shelves, but not until after the winter holiday season. A jury had already decided that the doe-eyed Bratz dolls violated Mattel's copyright. But the jury was not told to decide whether the infringement involved only the four original dolls - or the three dozen that followed, as well. Now they all have to come down.
NEW YORK - Pouty-lipped Bratz will stay on store shelves until after the holidays, but their fate after that — and that of their parent, MGA Entertainment Inc. — was uncertain Thursday after a federal court ruling banning MGA from making the saucy Barbie alternative.
MGA is appealing the ruling which — if upheld — is a severe blow for the company and an equal boon for Barbie maker Mattel Inc., which has been duking it out with MGA over Bratz for four years.
Late Wednesday, a federal judged banned MGA from making and selling all 40 dolls in the Bratz line, which it began selling in 2001, including the four originals — Yasmine, Chloe, Sasha and Jade. U.S.
The ruling, issued in a California federal court, followed a jury's finding that Bratz designer Carter Bryant developed the concept for the dolls while working for Mattel. The same jury later awarded Mattel $10 million for copyright infringement and up to $90 million for breach of contract after a lengthy trial stemming from Mattel's 2004 lawsuit ended in August.
"At retail, Bratz occupies about 24 feet at Toys "R" Us, 11 feet at Target and 12 to 16 feet at Wal-Mart," Johnson said. "Should this injunction hold, this time next year, that shelf space will be up for grabs in the fashion doll isle."