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Bratz Grounded

Bratz dolls could be this season's hottest holiday gift -- if only because after the first of the year, they may disappear forever. 

Yesterday's court ruling in the ongoing battle between Mattel's Barbie and MGA's Bratz confirmed an earlier jury finding that the original Bratz fashion dolls and the "Bratz" name were created by a Mattel employee and thus belong to Mattel.  The judge also concluded that, while the jury was not specific as to whether it found only the original set of four Bratz dolls or their many subsequent siblings to be infringements of Mattel's copyrights, the court's own evaluation of the expressive elements of the works showed all of them to be substantially similar to the original drawings.  Bratz may be plastic, but apparently "minimalized doll noses" run in the family. 

The court enjoined further production and sales of Bratz dolls, but stayed the injunction until a February hearing.  Moreover, there's likely to be an appeal.  Still, collectors take note:  the charmed adolescence of Barbie's chief rivals may be nearing an end.