CBL likes reporting on big verdicts. We particularly like the fact that we aren't the ones having to make that phone call reporting that things didn't go so well. At least we haven't been lately. And that takes us to Mattel v. MGA Entertainment. The legal press and blogosphere were all agog over this huge intellectual property fight over who owned the rights to the Bratz dolls. And CBL certainly got its licks in here, here, here and probably a bunch of other places.
So, brief history: Federal jury in Riverside, CA finds MGA stole the Bratz doll IP from Mattel, awards $100 million to Mattel. Trial judge enjoins MGA from selling any more of the pouty ones, imposes a constructive trust in Mattel's favor over the Bratz names and just about anything else relating to the idea of the product. As Judge Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit puts it: "In effect, Barbie captured the Bratz.." The Ninth Circuit takes away the equitable relief and makes a variety of rulings that require vacating the jury's verdict and having a new trial. Judge Kozinski again: "America thrives on competition; Barbie, the all-American girl, will too."
So, the file and all the lawyers get shipped over to the Federal District Court in Orange County for a new trial. And late last week, the jury reached a verdict. Only this time, it finds Mattel guilty of corporate espionage and awards $88.5 Million to MGA against Mattel.