Barbie's Maker Wins $100 M In Bratz Lawsuit

A federal jury awarded $100 million to Mattel, maker of Barbie dolls, after a long-running legal battle with a smaller toy company, MGA, that sells Barbie's competitor. Mattel says the Bratz dolls' designer conceived the idea while on Mattel's payroll, meaning Bratz and their earnings should belong to Mattel. Mattel had sought nearly $2 billion.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with a victory for Barbie.

But not as big a victory as she might've been hoping for. And of course we have detailed coverage this morning. A federal jury has awarded $100 million to the maker of the Barbie doll. Mattel has been involved in a long-running legal battle with a smaller toy company which sells a competitor to Barbie called Bratz. Mattel says Bratz was conceived by a designer who was on its payroll when he came up with his ideas, meaning Bratz dolls and their earnings should belong to Mattel.

Now, last month the jury found Bratz maker MGA guilty of only some of Mattel's charges. So yesterday's award, $100 million, is much smaller than the nearly $2 billion that Mattel was seeking. A judge may also decide that MGA can continue selling its hugely successful doll franchise, which some estimate to be worth a billion dollars.

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