US: Ubisoft wins Bratz legal dispute

Video games publisher gets $13m in a copyright and trademark infringement case against MGA Entertainment.
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Ubisoft Entertainment - one of the world's largest video games publishers - has won a $13.2 million judgement in a copyright and trademark infringement dispute against the owner of the Bratz dolls, MGA Entertainment.

In 2002, Ubisoft entered into a licence with MGA to publish video games based on Bratz. Due to the increasing popularity of the dolls, MGA sought to force a renegotiation of the deal in 2003 by terminating the licence without cause and on pretextual grounds.

When Ubisoft refused to give in, MGA sued. Ubisoft counter-sued, alleging that MGA's termination of the licence was invalid and a breach of contract.

In an effort to justify its wrongful termination, MGA sought to place at issue every aspect of Ubisoft's handling of the Bratz licence, which required the legal team to become intimately familiar with Ubisoft's development, manufacturing, marketing and sales operations.

The arbitrator ruled in favour of Ubisoft, awarding it $13 million in lost profits damages, attorney's fees and interest, and rejecting all of MGA's claims.

"We are thrilled with the result and we feel completely vindicated," said Ubisoft's general counsel Cecile Russeil. "We could not have achieved this outcome without attorneys who mastered every aspect of the case, and thoroughly understood our video gaming business."

Greenberg Glusker and Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump & Aldisert represented Ubisoft.

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