In this month’s Modern Law Library, we read a thrilling tale of dueling toymakers, corporate espionage and a group of brats taking on the queen of the Dreamhouse.
Professor Orly Lobel, author of You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side, speaks to the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles about how an intellectual property dispute between the maker of Barbie and the creator of Bratz spun into a legal battle that would last more than a decade.
For Lobel, the case is a clear example of how restrictive employment contracts and expectations stifle innovation. Lobel discusses the changes she thinks should be made in labor laws, and how these changes could benefit the economy.
Lobel also shares the story of Barbie’s journey from her origins as a copy of a German doll named Bild Lilli—which was marketed as an adult toy and sold in liquor stores starting in the early 1950s—into an industry-dominating fixture of children’s play.