Mattel Loses Major Verdict in Bratz Lawsuit

Jury slaps toy giant with $3 million in damages, after it had sought $1 billion dollars from rival company

Mattel received a legal smackdown that could cost the company millions on Thursday, losing a protracted legal tug-of-war with rival toymaker MGA Entertainment Inc., Bloomberg reports.

A jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., found that Mattel, contrary to its claims, did not own the sketches which laid out the concept for MGA’s popular Bratz dolls.

Mattel had maintained that Bratz designer Carter Bryant had come up with the designs while working for Mattel and, thus, the company owned the sketches.

Bryant countered that he had come up with the concept for Bratz in 1998, while living with his parents between stints working for Mattel.

Also read: "Bratz Gets Off Easy, Mattel  Sulks"

Today’s verdict is the most recent chapter in a years-long legal drama between the two companies, with plenty of back-and-forth.

In 2008, a Riverside, California awarded Mattel $100 million dollars after determining that the El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel owned the sketches in question. However, an appeals court reversed that verdict last year and ordered a new trial.

In addition to finding that Mattel did not own the Bratz sketches, the Santa Ana jury awarded MGA at least $3.4 million in damages for trade-secret theft. Mattel had claimed lost wages between $314 million and $544 million in the current trial.