Mattel won the first round, knocking MGA down with copyright infringement and a $100 million in damages. But it’s the order banning the company from making and selling the toy that is troubling, it says.
In the summer, MGA tapped Howard Rice appellate lawyer Jerome Falk to represent it on appeal and help fight off the injunction that it says threatens its very existence. Late Friday, MGA lawyers filed an emergency appeal with the Ninth Circuit asking for a stay of the order pending appeal.
After the jump: Industry wakes up, stops marketing sex to small children. Ha! Totally kidding. Keep reading anyway ...
Earlier this month, A U.S. district judge in Riverside granted Mattel’s request banning MGA from making and selling any Bratz-related products. A jury found in July that the creator of the Bratz dolls had conceived of the idea while employed at Mattel and taken it to MGA.
Falk said denying the stay would be “like a capital appeals case held after the execution,” Falk said. MGA, he says, would have to lay off half of its work force and even go insolvent, if orders are allowed to dry up by the end of the year.
Howard Rice was brought into the dispute in August, when questions arose about the possible biases of one of the jurors. The Howard Rice team wanted to stop the next phase of the trial until the jury question was resolved. The court of appeal said no, Falk said. To this day, the jury issue has not been decided, he added. And it’s a big deal in his appeal argument. “This whole injunction order rests on the verdict by a jury with a bigot on it,” he said. “The law in this country says that a verdict delivered by even one biased juror can’t stand.”
Falk said Mattel’s brief is due Friday, Dec. 26, and MGA’s reply the following Monday, Dec. 29.
— Petra Pasternak