Following on from last week’s Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code vs. Baigent and Leigh and Holy Blood, Holy Grail, here’s the next installment in our top IP disputes featuring a serious alpha female face-off:
Most of you reading this will likely be familiar with the blonde bombshell Barbara Millicent Roberts, maybe not by her full title, but surely with her world renowned moniker, Barbie. The Barbie doll was a product created by Mattel Inc., a company for which designer Carter Bryant once worked while he was also engaging in consultancy work for MGA Entertainment Inc.
The result of Bryant’s work for MGA was the now highly popular Bratz doll. A few years after MGA began selling Bratz dolls, Mattel sued both designer Bryant and MGA claiming Bryant’s work with MGA while still an employee at Mattel was an instance of copyright infringement.
Not surprisingly, since Bryant was an employee of Mattel, and listed on their payroll at the time of consulting with MGA and designing the Bratz doll, the courts sided with Mattel, justifying the claim that the Bratz name and design were Mattel trade secrets. MGA was ordered to pay $100 million in damages.
Learn more about these kinds of cases by enrolling in one of our New York CLE courses dedicated specifically to the intricacies of intellectual property, and designed to easily allow you to accrue New York continuing legal education credits.