Saturday, December 2, 2023

Ninth Circuit Reverses Barbie Decision; Orders New Trial

bratzI was just commenting on this subject this week. Well, two related subjects actually. One, that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is, well, on its own circuit, and two, on the Mattel vs. MGA litigation (aka- Barbie vs. Bratz) and the need for clear work-for-hire agreements.

Lo and behold, today, in a stunning reversal worthy of a Boston Legal episode, today, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit quashed an injunction that had prevented MGA from selling the dolls and said a new trial is likely because of flawed jury instructions at the original district court proceeding. The opinion, written by chief circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, asserts that because of errors in jury instructions, the entire case will need be retried. You can read more on this story and download the opinion at The American Law Daily. This is stunning. You can read the background as well as related drama here. According to the blog, Las Vegas Trademark Attorney, “for copyright fans, the decision also includes an interesting discussion regarding the fine line between copyrightable expression and unprotectable ideas.” Will the madness ever end?


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