Bratz returns to MGA

bratz.top.jpgAfter winning back rights to its brand from Mattel, MGA said it is launching a new line of Bratz products to hit store shelves in August. By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Bratz go back to MGA Entertainment, after an appeals court overturned the 2008 ruling that gave Mattel ownership of the dolls that dethroned Barbie.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco dismissed the December 2008 ruling that gave Mattel ownership rights to MGA's Bratz line, because the idea for the dolls was developed by designer Carter Bryant -- while he was a Mattel employee.

Mattel (MAT, Fortune 500), maker of Barbie, was awarded $100 million in the case two years ago.

But the appeals court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski cited several errors in how the trial judge instructed the jury. He said the language of Bryant's employer agreement with Mattel is "ambiguous," as it gives the company rights to inventions created "at any time during my employment by the Company."

MGA argued that the contract's language only covers work created within the scope of the job, and not work done during an employees' own time or outside of their duties at the company.

Instead of submitting the issue to the jury, the trial judge granted a summary judgment that alone determined Mattel's contract with Bryant covered the Bratz dolls in question.

"Because several of the errors we have identified appeared in the jury instructions, it's likely that a significant portion -- if not all -- of the jury verdict and damages awarded should be vacated, and the entire case will probably need to be retried," Kozinski said.

Mattel said in a statement it looks forward to a full trial, and has great confidence in "the ability of a jury to right the wrongs that Mattel has suffered."

On the other hand, thankful for what it called "a sweeping victory," MGA said it is launching a new line of Bratz products to hit store shelves in August.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,039.49 60.36 0.36%
Nasdaq 4,532.10 5.62 0.12%
S&P 500 1,992.37 5.86 0.29%
Treasuries 2.41 -0.02 -0.78%
Data as of 2:57am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.16 0.64 4.12%
eBay Inc 55.89 2.49 4.66%
Hewlett-Packard Co 37.00 0.00 0.00%
Intel Corp 35.15 0.65 1.88%
Apple Inc 100.58 0.01 0.01%
Data as of Aug 21

Sections

U.S. food chains are constantly looking for ways to appeal to local tastes -- think red bean Frappucinos and mango pizza. More

The Heartbleed bug is to blame for the hospital hack that stole 4.5 milliion patient records. If true, brace yourself for similar, mega data breaches. More

This Canadian startup founder faced the threat of deportation because he was on the wrong visa. Problem is -- there's no startup visa for entrepreneurs. More

This month, Delaware became the first state to pass a law giving heirs the right to access the online accounts and assets of someone who has passed away. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.