Oh, the things corporations will do for dolls with fishnet stockings. A federal court has just rejected a copyright infringement claim filed by Mattel against MGA Entertainment's Bratz doll line. The ruling ends an epic 7 year long legal battle that has cost both sides "millions in legal fees," reports the AP.
The details of the corporate fued are pretty interesting. Mattel alleged that one of its designers developed the popular doll line and then secretly sold the idea to MGA, which first came out with the billion dollar Bratz franchise. MGA denied the allegations and counter-sued, accusing Mattel of corporate espionage in the form of sending spies to toy fairs and stealing ideas from MGA's "tween" dolls. Add a few more years of legal wrangling and appellate court rulings and that brings us to today where the jury found that Mattel has no claim on the Bratz franchise and must pay MGA $88.4 million for stealing its trade secrets.
What's most depressing about this case is the extent to which U.S. corporations will go to claim ownership of a franchise that markets dolls in miniskirts, fishnet stockings and feather boas to little girls. In 2007, the American Psychological Association as a part of a task force on the "Sexualization of Girls" probably put it best.
Although these dolls may present no more sexualization of girls or women than is seen in MTV videos, it is worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality
God bless America.