A California federal appeals court this week tossed more than half of a multimillion-dollar verdict against toy maker Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT). The court struck approximately $172 million from the nearly $310 million the company was ordered to pay MGA Entertainment in 2011.
The long-running dispute is over the Bratz line of dolls. In 2004, Mattel claimed it was the rightful owner of the products since their designer was employed at the company when he conceived the idea for them. MGA later counter-sued, and the cases have been making their way through the system since then.
In a statement on the ruling, Mattel said that "we look forward to the speedy and final resolution of this dispute, and will continue to focus our efforts on successfully competing in the marketplace." The company has booked nearly $138 million in reserve to cover the fees and charges in the case.
MGA CEO Isaac Larian said his company was "gratified" the court affirmed much of the award levied against Mattel and that the court's ruling "allows MGA to bring its trade secrets claim in a new action."
The court wrote that "while this may not be the last word on the subject, perhaps Mattel and MGA can take a lesson from their target demographic: Play nice."
Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in Mattel. The Motley Fool recommends Mattel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Mattel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.