MGA Claims Mattel Acted Like Bratz In Secretly Spying On MGA Plans
from the on-the-counteroffensive dept
It looks like toymaker MGA has decided that if the momentum is turning in its ongoing legal fight with competitor Mattel, it might as well go all in. As you may recall, Mattel had sued MGA over its (extraordinarily successful) Bratz lines of dolls, because the designer who came up with the concept had done so while working at Mattel. This resulted in an amazingly broad ruling against MGA that required it to basically turn over everything having to do with Bratz dolls, including future plans, to Mattel. This made no sense. If Mattel was to get the rights to anything from MGA, it should have only been the original expression if they were actually produced under the Mattel employment contract (a point of dispute). Thankfully, the appeals court realized what a terrible ruling this was, and rejected most of it.
With momentum moving to MGA, the company has now filed headline-grabbing counterclaims against Mattel, concerning revelations, supposedly unearthed during depositions for the case, of widespread and potentially illegal corporate espionage done by Mattel on MGA and many other toy companies, including setting up fake personas so that people working for Mattel could get into toy showcases from competitors that were closely guarded secrets.
While it does make for a good story, it’s not entirely clear what this really has to do with the case at hand. Corporate espionage happens all the time, as competitors try to get a leg up on one another. It seems like a bit of a tangent for MGA to even bother to bring this up now. Why not just focus on the key issue of retaining the rights to the lucrative Bratz dolls?