Barbie beats Bratz off the shelves
Mattel‘s prized girl, Barbie, appears to have won the battle against her younger rival, MGA Entertainment‘s Bratz doll, after seven years of fierce competition.
Following a four-year legal dispute, MGA Entertainment has been ordered to remove its entire range of Bratz dolls from stores by early next year. The jury ruled that the creator of Bratz had developed the idea for the dolls while he was still working for Mattel.
The Bratz line was launched in 2001 and impacted heavily on Barbie sales. The ruling gives Mattel rights to the Bratz franchise, which is worth more than $1bn in annual sales.
Mattel was also awarded $10m for copyright infringement and $90m for breach of contract. Since the ruling was announced, Mattel has seen its shares rise by more than 7%.
“Mattel has been fortunate that the jurys ruling found that Bratz designer, Carter Bryant, developed the concept for the dolls while
working for Mattel. The company’s failure to identify and hold onto its knowledge at an early stage has resulted in costly court proceedings and a significant loss of market share for Barbie,” says Dave Croston, patent attorney at Withers & Rogers LLP.
MGA Entertainment will be required to destroy all moulds and plates used to make the dolls and will have to compensate retailers for the costs of removing the dolls.
It is a welcome present for Barbie, who celebrates her 50th anniversary next year.