Barbie v. Bratz is back for another legal round. Four months after Mattel’s court win in which a jury agreed to award damages (up to about $100 million) for copyright infringement, the two doll makers were back in federal court on Monday. This time Mattel was asking the court to not only prevent MGA Entertainment from making its popular line of pouty-lipped dolls but to remove those Bratz dolls currently stocked on store shelves. Mattel lawyer Michael Zeller argued: “Anything that Carter Bryant [the designer of the Bratz dolls] created while he was in the employ of Mattel belonged to the company. We ask that our property be returned.” The decision could do more than dash the Christmas wishes of girls across the country. The pitched legal battle that began about four years ago has already cost both companies. Now with the economy in a slump threatening to drag Christmas sales down with it, the Los Angeles Times points out that last week Mattel announced it was eliminating 1,000 jobs while MGA slashed 70 jobs last month, largely as result of the $80 million it has spent on legal costs.
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