A federal judge has ordered the heads of Mattel Inc. and MGA Entertainment Inc. into talks aimed at settling their copyright dispute over MGA's Bratz doll franchise.
In a Sept. 2 order obtained by Reuters, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson stayed the case until Sept. 19 so Los Angeles-area toymakers can attempt work out how much in damages MGA owes Mattel and which company has rights to the now more than $1 billion doll franchise.
The judge ordered chief executives Bob Eckert of Mattel and Isaac Larian of MGA "to make themselves available" to meet with a mediator "to discuss a global resolution of the matter."
A jury in Riverside last month gave Mattel all but four of the original drawings upon which the first Bratz dolls were based, and up to $100 million in damages and lost profits. The case centered on the extent to which MGA's popular Bratz dolls are based on drawings created by a former Mattel designer while he was still working for Mattel.
Because the damages relating to MGA's infringement on the drawings were just $10 million and the jury earlier asked if it could find that only the first generation of dolls infringed, MGA contends it can still sell its current generation of dolls. The Van Nuys company also is arguing that the monetary damages should be reduced.
But El Segundo-based Mattel in a court filing contends that that the court clerk received an email from a juror who confirmed that the panel "intended to award Mattel total damages of more than $100 million," Reuters said.
Mattel had asked the jury to award it more than $2 billion in damages and lost profits, plus punitive damages.
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