(CN) – A federal judge ruled that manufacturer of Bratz dolls, MGA Entertainment, cannot pursue new anti-trust claims against Mattel.
In dismissing MGA’s case, U.S. District Judge David Carter found MGA had already raised its antitrust claims in a February 2011 lawsuit, brought on by a 7-year-old legal battle over the rights to the Bratz line.
MGA eventually prevailed with a jury awarding it $310 million in damages and attorneys’ fees.
“Here, the facts giving rise to MGA’s current antitrust claim were either in MGA’s possession or were public knowledge well before August 16, 2010 – which is why, on that date, MGA pled these facts in its RICO and wrongful injunction counterclaims-in-reply,” Carter wrote. “MGA simply chose to style those facts as a claim under RICO and for wrongful injunction. In short, the court’s ruling is narrow; it merely holds that res judicata bars a later claim that is based on allegations of misconduct of which the claimant was previously aware and had alleged in the prior case.”
MGA claimed that Mattel launched a campaign to “kill Bratz” and engaged in abusive litigation practices, even sending spies to gather information on its successful rival.
Mattel won dismissal in October 2011, when Carter found that MGA had raised claims based on Mattel’s conduct during the earlier litigation. This time, Carter dismissed the case with prejudice, so MGA cannot refile.