Bratz Doll Trial Takes a New Twist

Four organizations representing Jewish and Iranian Americans have filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit arguing that a federal judge who dismissed a juror during deliberations for having described Iranians as "stubborn," "rude" and thieves of others' ideas should also have granted a new trial for the plaintiff, who was born in Iran.

The case involves the long-running copyright dispute between MGA Entertainment Inc., manufacturer of the Bratz doll, and Barbie doll maker Mattel Inc. In July 2008, a federal jury found that MGA had violated Mattel's copyright and was deliberating about damages when one juror, referred to in court documents as "Juror No. 8," declared that her husband believes Iranians to be "stubborn, rude, and who have stolen other person's ideas."

MGA's chief executive, Isaac Larian, is Iranian-American. (Source:

Scott Drake interviews Simon Frankel, a partner in the San Francisco office of Washington's Covington & Burling, who represents all four amicus organizations.



Posted on August 17, 2009 .