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MGA asks court to lift Bratz ban

Bloomberg News

MGA Entertainment Inc., maker of Bratz dolls, filed an emergency request Friday with a U.S. appeals court to stay a court order barring it from making and selling the dolls while it appeals the ruling.

If MGA doesn’t get a stay by Dec. 31, the Van Nuys company will suffer irreparable harm, it said in a redacted filing with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

MGA’s customers want assurances by the end of the year that the dolls won’t be pulled off the shelves in February, Jerome Falk, a lawyer for MGA, said.

“Because of the nature of this business, decisions are made way in advance,” Falk said Friday in a phone interview. “Creditors, manufacturers, everybody who does business with them wants assurances.”

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U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson in Riverside on Dec. 3 granted Mattel Inc.'s request to stop MGA from making most Bratz dolls. A jury earlier found that a Mattel designer came up with the Bratz name and characters and secretly took the idea to MGA. Larson said his order wouldn’t go into effect until after he had ruled on both sides’ post-trial motions. A hearing on those motions is set for Feb. 11.

MGA also filed a request for a stay pending appeal with the district court, but Larson isn’t likely to rule on it before the end of the year, the company said in Friday’s filing.

Lisa Marie Bongiovanni, a spokeswoman for El Segundo-based Mattel, didn’t return a call to her office after business hours.


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