My cousin is a doll connoisseur. She hates Barbie dolls and soft, cotton dolls, but she loves Bratz. And I get it. If I were into dolls, I would probably prefer Bratz dolls too. Apparently, many consumers agree, making Bratz wildly popular with young girls.

Mattel, the maker of the Barbie doll, has taken notice as well. Alleging that the concept for the Bratz doll line was spawned by an ex-Mattel employee while he was working for the company, Mattel filed suit against MGA Entertainment, the maker of the Bratz dolls. The suit was a success. MGA was permanently enjoined from manufacturing or selling any more Bratz dolls. Additionally, the jury awarded $100 million in damages— $90 million for breach of contract and $10 million for copyright infringement. The court ordered MGA to stop selling Bratz dolls by February 11, 2009.

Strangely, however, the judge agreed to change this date, permitting MGA to sell Bratz dolls past the deadline. The judge reasoned that MGA should be given more time to sell; otherwise, MGA would be severely hurt by the injunction. This judicial “bailout” might be just a sign of the times, but either way, Mattel should now seek more in damages. Damages were calculated for a certain period of time and that period has now been extended. Accordingly, damages should be increased. However reasonable the decision to extend the selling period may seem, it is a benefit to MGA at Mattel’s expense.

–Seth Erickson

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