Why Should Mattel Get Future Plans For New Bratz Dolls?

from the gross-injustice dept

Last year, we wrote about a somewhat horrific court ruling against MGA Entertainment, the makers of Bratz dolls, after getting sued by Mattel. If you don't follow the doll business, Bratz is really the first doll to successfully compete against the massively successful Barbie franchise in ages. However, the guy who came up with Bratz had worked at Mattel prior to going off on his own. Of course, this is the history of many different innovative companies. If you come up with a better idea while working at one company, it's a good thing that you can go off and build your own company. As we pointed out at the time, this is the story of plenty of successful tech companies. Steve Wozniak was at HP when he built the first Apple computer (and continued to work there for some time after Apple was moving forward). Robert Noyce helped found Fairchild (and later Intel) after growing frustrated at Shockley Transistor. Hell, William Shockley founded Shockley Transistor after feeling he didn't get enough respect at Bell Labs. Yet, here's a toy designer at Mattel who's entire operation is getting shut down because he came up with the idea while still employed at Mattel?

Even if you grant the somewhat troubling premise that the concept for the dolls was created at Mattel, at best you could make an argument that Mattel had some rights to an injunction and profits from the first generation of those dolls. Yet, the judge not only ruled that, but also that MGA had to give up all such dolls, and hand over all sorts of confidential info, including "all related products, designs, customer information and 'know-how' for a planned 2010 Bratz line." It's difficult to see any justification at all for forcing them to hand over future plans that had nothing to do with what the guy created while still at Mattel. MGA has now filed an emergency appeal, noting that if it does hand over such info and assets, it would have "devastating and irreversible consequences," which seems quite accurate. All in all, this seems like Mattel simply trying to stop competition, and it's a shame that the US court system seems to be helping.

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  1. identicon
    Lauren, 22 Jun 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Why? Because...

    Mattel CLAIMED he told them about it in a 2002 case. It was another article long ago. Now he's claiming that he never told Mattel. I remember that case long ago completely. I've been a Bratz fan for years since it's release. I saw Bratz since it was under construction in 2000. Carter Bryant said Mattel didn't want it, so he tried to take it to a company in New York, but they didn't want it. So it ended up in MGA's hands finally. I'M not all off, YOU need to get your facts straight honey.

    And to Chandra, you don't know too much about the Bratz, do you? You have a misguided opinion. You should learn about things before you judged them.

    The thing is the "Barbie" promotes girls to dream big, but it also promotes big breasts, adulthood, pregnancy, and that only blonde "white girls" can achieve (there are barely any other races on their own merit). Bratz don't really have realistically proportioned bodies, and have gotten better about the clothes. I admit some lines were questionable. But that is what kids asked for. There are a lot of things questionable in children's media nowadays. But Bratz have diversity, and show us "minority girls" that we are just as equal to white girls, due to the fact that Larian is an immigrant and understands how it feels to be a minority in America, which is why Mattel can never do this correctly, even if they gained the rights to Bratz.

    Yea Mattel won, but now they have the so-called "slutty" Bratz, which will taint Barbie's palace for real now. Mattel didn't take Bratz until they realized Bratz were successful and we know this. This isn't the first time somebody from Mattel went to another company and made a doll before their contract was over, it's just the first one who tried it and were successful.

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