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
    kayla, 7 Jul 2009 @ 10:32pm

    bratz

    bratz should not be sude it did not do anything i love bratz barbiae dolls are old bratz comes out with better things and you know that barbie doll is not even cool its stupied bratz are more creative barbie dolls it just the same thing oover again if bratz go down and the stores that have them there not gonna have them so the person that love it is not gonna buy any thing else because it was the number one hit i thiink that barbie sucks there the one whos hating bratz new barbie old lets just throw barbie away and have a life with bratz barbie complans and complans JUST LEAVE BRATZ ALONE MATTEL IS THE WORST STUPIED NOT NEW OLD TAKY THING I EVER HEARRD AND SAW I WISH MATTEL SHOULD BE THE ONE WHOS GETTIN EVERYTHING LOST I TELLIN U IF BRATZ IS GONE IM GONNA HURT MATTEL BAD AND I MEAN IT BARBIE IS A BAD NAME TO I THINK SOME KINDA EVIL NAME ALL IM JUST SAYIN DONT LET BRATZ AND DONT EVEN SAY ITS TO LATE CAUSE I KNOW THATS IT NOT LATE I KNOW THAT AMD U KNOW THAT I WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN WELL IM not MAKING A THREAT IT JUST I DONT BRATZ TO GO AWAY I REALLY THINK THAT people should think huh i guess that bratz and mattel dont have to battel eachother well i just got mad im crying pleese dont let bratz gooo I LOVE IT REALLY I DO I DONT WANT IT TO GO AWAY

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