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
    alex, 2 Oct 2009 @ 6:51pm

    lets boycott mattel¡¡¡¡¡

    Im just very angry that just because Mattel felt some competition they just BOUGHT THE USA COURT SYSTEM TO GET RID OF THE BRATZ, personally Ive never bought mattel barbies,,,I DECIDED TO BUY MY FIRST BRATZ BOYZ because they were very cool¡¡ the design was cool,fresh and original,,they had more accesories and clothes that any ken and barbie doll could dream off ¡¡! till this day I have over 100 bratz boyz and girls combined,,plus a couple of vehicles and a house ,,and it makes me angry that im not gonna be able to collect them anymore just because GREEDY A** MATTEL got Envious and OLD¡¡ they were not able to create fresh and new stuff like MGAE´S BRATZ so thats why they decided they could buy THE USA COURT ,I betcha they paid millions to win such a case¡¡ but well as i said before never bought barbies never will ,,if mattel produces bratz dolls I WILL NEVER BUY THEM ,,UNLESS MGA DOES IT ,,AND NOW IM DOING A PERSONAL BOYCOTT NOY BUYING ANYOTHER TOY OR BRAND BY MATTEL,,SO PEOPLE IF YOUR FED UP AND TIRED OF THE OLD MONOPOLY CALLED MATTEL START A BOYCOTT AGAINST THEM TOO,LETS SHOW THEM CONSUMERS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN THEIR "GREEDY" MONEY ¡¡¡¡

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