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The question of whether our ideas are our own or our employer’s set off the greatest toy war of our time.
When Carter Bryant began work on what would become the billion-dollar line of Bratz dolls, he was taking time off from his job at Mattel where he designed outfits for Barbie. Later, back at Mattel, he sold his concept for Bratz to rival company MGA. Orly Lobel reveals the colourful story behind the ensuing decade-long court battle.
This entertaining and provocative work pits MGA against Mattel, shows how an idea turns into a product and explores the two different versions of womanhood represented by Barbie and her rival. Lobel’s story is a thought-provoking contribution to the debate over creativity and intellectual property as American workers may now be asked to sign contracts granting their employers the rights to and income from their ideas.