Mattel Inc. shares fell more than 4 percent on Monday on speculation that the jury in the Bratz doll trial might significantly narrow the scope on which they would award monetary damages to Mattel from MGA Entertainment Inc.
In response to a question from the jury before it recessed for the weekend on Friday, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson told jurors that if they wanted they they could decide that only the first generation of Bratz dolls, which hit the market in 2001, were based on a former Mattel Inc. designer's work.
El Segundo-based Mattel has asked the Riverside federal court jury to award it as much as $1 billion in damages, which it calculates to be MGA's profit from Bratz sales from 2001 through June 30 of this year, including interest. MGA has said it made only $4 million profit on the original Bratz dolls.
Mattel shares closed down 93 cents, or 4.4 percent, to $20.14 in Monday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Deliberations in the damages phase of the trial will resume on Tuesday since the jury is not scheduled to meet on Mondays.
The jury started deliberating last Thursday in the damages phase of the trial over whether Van Nuys-based MGA's dolls and other Bratz-related products infringe on drawings made by designer Carter Bryant. The jury earlier found that the drawings were made by Bryant while he was still a Mattel employee.
Mattel also is seeking more than $750 million in damages from Isaac Larian, MGA's majority owner and chief executive officer, for his interference with Bryant's Mattel contract and for helping Bryant breach his fiduciary duty to Mattel.
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