But Mattel lead trial counsel John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquardt Oliver & Hedges chided us for not focusing on what he called “the single most important fact about the jury’s verdict: the jury FOUND infringement.” Quinn said he intended to use the jury’s ruling that MGA had infringed Mattel’s copyrights when it created the Bratz doll to seek an injunction against the big-headed dolls that had cut through Barbieland like an army of tiny, eye-shadowed Godzillas.
Late Wednesday evening, Quinn was proved prescient. Federal district court judge Stephen Larson granted Mattel a sweeping injunction that essentially shuts down MGA’s Bratz operation. Larson ordered MGA to cease manufacturing, marketing, and selling almost every doll in the Bratz line, as well as every ancillary product that makes use of images of those dolls. He also ordered MGA, at its own expense, to deliver all infringing dolls and products to Mattel for impoundment and destruction. In a separate order, Judge Larson granted Mattel’s motion for a constructive trust on the Bratz name, which means that MGA can no longer even call any of its products Bratz.
The judge stayed enforcement of the injunction until February, when he has scheduled a hearing on post-trial motions by both sides.
“[The ruling] is a vindication of the principles Mattel has been pursuing all along,” said Quinn Emanuel partner Michael Zeller, who is colead counsel with Quinn. “We had an employee who was getting paid by Mattel, who received the benefits of working for Mattel, who secretly sold his designs to a competitor.”
We asked Zeller whether Quinn Emanuel was now laughing at everyone (including us) who had portrayed the $100 million damages ruling as semi-victory for MGA. He graciously declined to crow, but did allow that the firm is “gratified about the court’s ruling.”
MGA, which is represented by Thomas Nolan at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, told The Wall Street Journal that it planned to appeal Larson’s ruling. Nolan did not return the Litigation Daily’s call for comment.
Judge Larson explicitly rejected MGA’s central argument in a ruling explaining his reasoning on the injunction. Skadden’s Nolan had argued that any injunction should be limited to the first generation of Bratz dolls, which he claimed were the only dolls that made use of designs created when the Bratz designer was on Mattel’s payroll. Nolan argued that the $100 million jury verdict reflected the jury’s belief that only the early dolls infringed Mattel’s copyright. Judge Larson disagreed. The jury sent a note asking whether it could limit its infringement finding, but its final verdict did not. “The jury made no express finding on this issue,” Larson wrote.