Job-Hoppers, Take a Tip from the Bratz

The makers of the popular toy franchise are under fire from Mattel for allegedly smuggling trade secrets. But the lessons here carry beyond the rival dollhouses

In toy stores, she's a dancing princess, a mermaid, or a hip teenager. But behind the scenes, Barbie is kicking down doors and taking names. In a 58-page complaint filed Nov. 20 in federal court in Riverside, Calif., Mattel (MAT), Barbie's parent, accuses nemesis Isaac Larian, father of the phenomenally successful Bratz dolls, and a number of former Mattel employees of breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, copyright infringement, and racketeering. In making its case, Mattel had federales raid the Mexican offices of Larian's company, MGA Entertainment, and applied forensic computer techniques to what they found.

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