With his usual aplomb, Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th Circuit casually eviscerated the trial court’s decision in last year’s Barbie vs. Bratz battle, opining that Carter Bryant’s contract with Mattel did not cover “ideas” (only “inventions”) and that it simply wouldn’t be fair to hand Barbie the keys to her her little sister’s billion dollar doll factory. In Kozinski’s words:
It is not equitable to transfer this billion dollar brand—the value of which is overwhelmingly the result of MGA’s legitimate efforts—because it may have started with two misappropriated names. The district court’s imposition of a constructive trust forcing MGA to hand over its sweat equity was an abuse of discretion and must be vacated.
I am a commercial litigator and intellectual property lawyer in Orange County. Although my practice encompasses a wide variety of business disputes, I have a particular fondness for, and am prone to wax philosophical on, the subjects of copyright and trademark infringement in music, literature, art, and film.