Appeals court reduces Bratz judgment

Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:51 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court in California has excused toymaker Mattel Inc. from paying $172 million to MGA Entertainment Inc.

A panel of three judges at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reduced the amount Mattel has to pay MGA, the maker of Bratz dolls, over a intellectual property dispute that has gone back and forth in lawsuits that date back to 2008, when Mattel was awarded $100 million.

In the original trial, MGA was ordered to stop producing Bratz dolls and hand over production and the rights to the dolls to Mattel, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

MGA won the 2011 retrial, however, which ended with a judgment of $310 million against Mattel.

The appeals court pulled back from that judgment, saying that MGA's claim that Mattel stole trade secrets was not connected to the original trial and should not have been part of the counter-suit.

In a nine-page ruling, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski also said while this may not be the last word on the subject, "perhaps Mattel and MGA can take a lesson from their target demographic: Play nice."

The latest ruling leaves Mattel with $137 million it owes to MGA. But MGA Chief Executive Officer Isaac Larian said MGA "absolutely" intends to continue to pursue the matter in court.

"We plan to obtain justice for Mattel's decade-long corporate-sponsored espionage," Larian said.

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