Federal jury says MGA, not Mattel, owns Bratz copyright

Bratz dolls are seen for sale on the Target Holiday Boat on Nov. 29, 2002 in New York City.
Bratz dolls are seen for sale on the Target Holiday Boat on Nov. 29, 2002 in New York City. Mario Tama/Getty Images

A federal jury ruled on Thursday that the Bratz don’t belong in the same house with Barbie, ending a high-dollar dispute between two Southland toymakers over some very popular dolls.

El-Segundo-based toy giant Mattel thought it owned the Bratz, even though Van Nuys-based upstart MGA brought the dolls to market 10 years ago.

Mattel maintained that the Bratz designer was working for Mattel when he created the edgy urban dolls – then took his idea over to MGA.

Mattel sued and won a $100 million award in the first trial three years ago. But the court overturned that verdict last year, and the case came back.

This time, after a three-month trial and almost two weeks of deliberations, the jury sided with MGA. It ruled that Mattel misappropriated MGA’s trade secrets and awarded the smaller company $88 million in damages.

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