Copyright infringement? BRATZ / stolen or not? - 88 million

Bratz is a line of toys, featuring dolls with exaggerated facial features, owned by American MGA ENTERTAINMENT. The first dolls were launched in 2001, but the real success came in 2005 / 2006 when sales reached about two billion. The growth in market share (up 40%) came at the expense of Mattel's Barbie.  

When the Mattel My Scene line came (same body as Barbie but with larger head and eyes - like Bratz), first blood was drawn.  Bratz launched a case against Mattel. Mattel also initiated a case against MGA since the BRATZ doll was designed by a former Mattel employee, during his time with Mattel.
Initially, Mattel won, despite the statement by the designer that he was not employed by Mattel in 1998 and that the doll was developed during a period when  he was self employed between two the jobs. Ultimately, the federal court in California decided that MGA had not stolen the doll from Mattel. MGA will get a compensation of over $ 88,000,000. Mattel will appeal against the verdict.
This case illustrates the importance of good and water-tight contracts with freelancers or self-employed workers. If changing employers within an X number of years was regulated in the designer’s contract all this may have been prevented.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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