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Mattel To Appeal $309M Bratz Judgment

Mattel Inc. plans to appeal judge's award of more than $309 million to rival toy maker MGA in the fight over ownership of the Bratz fashion doll line.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Attorneys for Mattel Inc. plan to appeal a federal judge's award of more than $309 million to rival toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. in the fight over ownership of the popular Bratz fashion doll line.

The El Segundo-based toy giant said in a statement Thursday that filling a notice of appeal preserves its right to appeal all of U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter's and the jury's decisions in the case.

"Mattel remains committed to finding a resolution that allows us to conclude this litigation on terms that are reasonable and fair to Mattel," the statement said.

MGA lead counsel Jennifer Keller told City News Service said she was confident her client will prevail.

Last week, Carter awarded MGA $172.5 million for damages related to trade secret misappropriation. He also awarded MGA and CEO Isaac Larian more than $137 million for copyright infringement, breach of contract and other issues.

Mattel first filed a lawsuit in 2004 alleging that Bratz designer Carter Bryant was employed at Mattel when he created the Bratz dolls. The dolls with pouty lips, hip hop-style clothing and oversized feet were aimed at "tweens," or girls ages 9 to 11, and flew off the shelves when they debuted in 2001.

In court, MGA attorneys accused Mattel of trying to crush Bratz because the doll line was giving the venerable Barbie doll a run for her money, while Mattel accused MGA of stealing its idea for Bratz and then working to cover up any hint the concept wasn't theirs

In 2008, a federal jury in Riverside sided with Mattel and awarded it $100 million -- but the verdict was overturned on appeal and the case sent back for retrial.

After a second trial, this time in Santa Ana, a jury in April rejected Mattel's claims and instead awarded MGA $88 million in damages in a counter-claim. The smaller toy maker had alleged that Mattel used hired gumshoes to spy on its toy designs and marketing plans at trade shows and stole its trade secrets.

Mattel filed motions asking for a new trial but Carter denied the request.

He lowered the original $88.5 million in damages to $85 million after finding the jury made a mathematical error. He then awarded an additional $85 million in punitive damages for damages for trade secrets misappropriation.