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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Bratz Doll Recall Placed on Hold by 9th Circuit

(CN) - MGA Entertainment won more shelf time for its Bratz dolls, after the 9th Circuit stayed an order requiring it to recall its Bratz line and transfer ownership to Mattel by 2010.

The three-judge panel in Pasadena on Wednesday suspended the order until the court can rule on MGA's appeal.

Mattel won a $100 million copyright infringement lawsuit against MGA in July 2008, after a federal jury found that Bratz creator Carter Bryant came up with the big-headed, hip hip-themed dolls while he worked as a Barbie designer for Mattel. MGA came out with the Bratz dolls a month after Bryant left Mattel, and the dolls hit toy stores five months later, according to Mattel.

Barbie sales allegedly suffered since the launch of the $1 billion Bratz line: U.S. sales dropped 15 percent in 2007 and 12 percent in the first quarter of 2008.

Bryant, who made more than $30 million in royalties from Bratz, insisted that he came up with the idea by studying Steve Madden shoe ads and the cover of the Dixie Chicks album "Chicks With Attitude," and by watching kids on their way home from school.

But the jury, unconvinced, found that MGA and CEO Isaac Larian converted Mattel property for their own use, and that Larian personally interfered with Mattel and Bryant's contractual relationship.

MGA was ordered to stop selling Bratz products, recall remaining toys and transfer ownership of the brand to Mattel.

The 9th Circuit on Wednesday stayed the order pending appeal, a move that Larian deemed a victory for fair competition.

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