Page last updated at 21:38 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 22:38 UK

Barbie firm awarded Bratz payout

Bratz dolls

Toymaker Mattel has been awarded multi-million dollar damages in a copyright case against the maker of the popular Bratz dolls, MGA Entertainment.

A California jury made the award after a court ruled that the creator of Bratz dolls, Carter Bryant, came up with the idea while he was working for Mattel.

The payout is thought to be at least $40m (22m) but Mattel, which makes Barbie, had asked for about $2bn.

The large-headed, multi-ethnic, urban fashion dolls became a bestseller.

The dolls are estimated to be making profits of about $500m a year for MGA.


Mattel, the world's biggest toymaker, won the case in July after claiming that the name and design of Bratz dolls were based on drawings by Carter Bryant made while he was under a contract that entitled Mattel to his designs.

MGA had argued that although Mr Bryant worked for Mattel between 1995 and April 1998 and then again from January 1999 to September 2000, the idea had come to him in the gap between his two stints.

Mr Bryant himself reached a confidential settlement with Mattel on the eve of the trial.

MGA had argued that the company had built the value of the doll with its own additions, branding and packaging.

The jurors had been told they could decide whether MGA should only be held responsible for profits from the first four Bratz dolls - which came from Bryant's drawings - or the gains from all subsequent dolls and related products.

Barbie has been losing market share since Bratz came on the market. Mattel's three-monthly results, released on Friday, showed a further fall.

Barbie's worldwide gross sales fell 6% between April and June 2008 as the company's net profit fell 48% to $11.8m.

Barbie sales in the US were down 21%.

Head to head


1959 2001
11.5" (29.2cm) 10" (25.4cm)
Ken Bratz Boyz include Cameron and Dylan
Latest film
Barbie as the Island Princess (2007) Bratz: the movie (2007)
Three-story dreamhouse with sizzling stove and flushing toilet Bratz Mansion with dance floor that lights up
Ruth Handler saw her daughter Barbara imagining her paper dolls in grown-up roles Carter Bryant based drawings on children he saw walking from school, Steve Madden shoe adverts and the cover of a Dixie Chicks album

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