MGA Seeks to Revive Trade-Secret Claims Against Mattel

MGA Entertainment Inc. can seek court permission to proceed with its trade-secret allegations against Mattel Inc. after the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco threw out MGA’s trial victory on the claims.

U.S. District Judge David Carter in Santa Ana, California, on Feb. 26 allowed MGA’s lawyers to skip a requirement that they first “meet and confer” with Mattel’s lawyers before they file a request to allow the claims to proceed as so-called permissive counterclaims rather than compulsory ones.

The appeals court last month vacated the $172.5 million in damages and legal costs MGA won in 2011 on its claims that Mattel employees used fake business cards to gain access to MGA’s booths at toy fares and obtain confidential information. The appeals court said those claims shouldn’t have been allowed to go the jury because they weren’t related to Mattel’s claims against MGA.

The case is Mattel Inc. v. MGA, 04-09049, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana).

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