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Trial to begin in Mattel-MGA case over Bratz dolls

Trial to begin in Mattel-MGA case over Bratz dolls

January 18th, 2011 by GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press in News

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - It's a fight over toys, but the involved parties aren't kids.

Attorneys for toy giant Mattel Inc. and bitter rival MGA Entertainment Inc. are set to present opening statements Tuesday over the copyright ownership of the Bratz dolls and the rights to market the pouty, sassy line targeted at "tweens."

Two years ago, a federal jury found that the doll's designer developed the concept while working for Mattel. An appeals court later overturned the $100 million jury award, and the case was sent back for a retrial.

MGA claims that Mattel is trying to run the smaller company out of business over the success of Bratz.

The Barbie-maker alleges MGA poached former employees and encouraged them to spill trade secrets.

Legal experts say the trial is critical to the companies and could embarass both as their dirty laundry gets aired.