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Mattel Attacks $310M Bratz Copyright Award On Appeal

Publication Date: 
February 29, 2012
The Recorder
Amanda Bronstad

Professor Kathleen M. Sullivan was mentioned in the Recorder for her involvement as counsel for Mattel in an ongoing legal battle over copyright issues pertaining to the Bratz dolls. Amanda Bronstad reported the following story.

Mattel Inc. has asked a federal appeals court to reverse the $310 million judgment against it in a long-running legal battle over the Bratz dolls, maintaining that its failed infringement allegations didn't justify "the largest copyright fee award in history."

In its opening brief before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, filed on Monday, Mattel challenged U.S. District Judge David Carter's entire judgment. Carter on Aug. 4, 2011, ordered Mattel to pay $85 million in compensatory damages, $85 million in exemplary damages, $107.9 million in attorneys' fees and $32 million in costs to MGA Entertainment Inc., maker of the Bratz doll.

Mattel counsel Kathleen Sullivan, a partner in the New York office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, wrote that the attorneys' fees were unjustified because many were not related to MGA's defense of Mattel's copyright claims and, according to MGA's own accounts, were "improper, bloated, excessive, unreasonable or even false" and "unnecessary."