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
    jay, 3 Aug 2009 @ 7:25pm

    pure American Greed¡¡

    its a shame what MATTEL are doing to MGAE¡¡,,how they can claim mgae stole the bratz idea,,when barbie image was just taken out of an ADULT doll named lilly ,,A hooker that would do everything for money ¡¡the same Image Mattel its portraying right now and the image this perturbing doll has been giving the girls of all the world for many years ,,the reason a lot of girls have fall into diets,anorexia,bulimia,into plastic surgery,the reason that most of them wants to dye their hair blonde,the reason a lot of women are not satisfied with what they have ,and they just want more¡¡¡ to my personal judgement I never tought barbie was for little kids,her sexual image was never for kids ,I remember when i saw my little niece playing with Barbie and Ken having sexual relations,I was not shocked but it came clear once again that it was not a toy suited for little kids ,,sex its natural but kids needs to b kids and they need to have more options than just a sexual image of a sexual and material dominatrix,,
    its very clear why BRATZ was a major succes when they came out they were fresh,different and original,not the typical sexual girly girl bimbo stereotype,more cartoonish,more actioned packed,their collections more fun and colorful ,more inventive and imaginative,and of course with more accesories and clothes that barbie would ever dreamed off¡ I remember buying muy little girl her first brat,a tokyo a gogo brat(she never had a barbie she was never interested in barbies)the first time she saw them she feel in love with them she tought it was cool that this Girls were different,that they had more names than just barbie,that they were from different ethnical races and from different countries,and that they seem confident and brave to make any of her dreams come true¡ she didnt feel in love just with the dolls,she feel in love with the whole design(of the package,their accesories,all the little details that were by far better than barbie),
    Its a shame what mattel are doing to MGAE, since when an employee of some company can´t take his(or hers)original ideas to other company to have a better chance of succes and opportunities(isn´t that what America its made of?)Does MATTEL employees gets hired to loose all their civil rights,to not think while they work there and to be turned into slaves so they just have to commit to their TOy Monster industry for life?¡ once again they shouldn´t blame MGAE ,it was their fault tha Barbie and other brands started to fail in the market,besides changing barbies clothes they never innovate or came with new and fresh ideas ,you can see it with other brands as hot wheels,the same molds with different designs,they tought they could leave of the same old tired formula,and it just got to that point,TIRED¡¡ they tried to compete bratz with flavas which was a horrible mistake,and Myscene which now its a shameful copy of the bratz,,and even worst now normal retail barbies are not even pretty anymore(the plastic and the materials are very low quality),they are just suing MGAE in a desperate action to put them out of the market,but they are going to realize that even with that they will not gain the sales back unless they start to create their own and new lines,and they gotta realize they cant be a toy monopoly,the sun shines for everybody¡¡as I told you before in my house we never bought a barbie doll and never will¡¡we dont even buy other mattel toys my kids prefer playmates or Hasbro(go figure),Im wondering if they would start to sue those companys in an action of American greed?
    shame on Mattel and shame on the American laws that permits this kind of abuse¡¡we want bratz on mgae back¡¡

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