aNb Media News, April 21, 2011

Verdict in Bratz Case; $88 Million Awarded to MGA

The AP is reporting that a Federal court jury rejected Mattel’s copyright infringement claims involving MGA for the Bratz property. MGA has been awarded $88.4 million for misappropriation of trade secrets by Mattel.

A jury found that Mattel acted willfully and maliciously in misappropriating the secrets.

Initially, Mattel alleged that doll designer, Carter Bryant, developed the Bratz while working at Mattel and secretly took the idea to MGA.

A jury awarded Mattel $100 million in 2008 and found that Bryant had developed the Bratz concept while at Mattel. However, that verdict was overturned, which led to this re-trial and today’s verdict after a months-long trial.

TRU Opens E-Commerce Center in Nevada

Toys “R” Us announced plans to open a new e-commerce distribution center near Reno, Nev. The dedicated e-commerce fulfillment center will be located within the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in the town of McCarran, approximately 10 miles east of Reno, and is scheduled to open in July 2011.

The McCarran distribution center will employ approximately 350 full- and part-time employees at the peak of the holiday season. Once operational, the 300,000-square-foot facility will enable Toys “R” Us to increase its fulfillment capacity and expedite deliveries to online customers in the western United States.

Once the distribution center becomes functional, the company will have a total of 12 facilities for store distribution and e-commerce fulfillment. The McCarran distribution center will be operated by Toys “R” Us and will be wholly dedicated to and orders.

Toys “R” Us says that McCarran was selected for its optimal location to the nearby city of Reno. With easy access to interstate transportation networks, the McCarran distribution center will enable shipments to reach destinations throughout the west within two business days or less by means of major carriers’ ground-shipping methods.

Darling’s L&F to Deliver Licensing Show Keynote

Rick Darling, president of LF USA, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered Li & Fung Limited, will deliver the keynote address at Licensing International Expo 2011. The keynote session will kick off the show, which runs June 14–16 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

“In his role with Li & Fung at the center of global sourcing and marketing, Rick Darling has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing suppliers, brand owners, retailers, and others,” said Charles Riotto, president of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), which is the Expo’s sole sponsor.

Darling oversees LF USA’s rapidly expanding business in the U.S., where its portfolio of owned and licensed brands range from top entertainment companies to celebrity names such as Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Rachel Zoe, and Sofia Vergara to fashion labels such as Sean John, Ecko, and Calvin Klein. In recent months, it has acquired such companies as Beyond Productions—the apparel and accessories company headed by Beyoncé and Tina Knowles—Oxford Apparel Group and footwear manufacturer Jimlar Corp. Its other owned companies include Kids Headquarters and Briefly Stated.

Banks Signs on as Head Writer for The Governator

A Squared Entertainment (A2) announced that Steven Banks has joined Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 21st century action-comedy superhero series The Governator as head writer. Following a six-year run as head writer for SpongeBob SquarePants, and previously for Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, the Emmy-nominated Banks brings his unique writing style to the much talked about animated series.

Announced at MIPTV in Cannes, France, the multimedia property from A2, Stan Lee’s POW!, and Archie Comics, marks Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to entertainment. The multiplatform entertainment property includes a television series, 3-D movie, comic book series, and consumer products program.

TÜV Rheinland’s Bentonville Lab Receives Accreditation

TÜV Rheinland’s new consumer products testing laboratory in Bentonville, Ark., was recently accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and officially approved as a third-party testing laboratory by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to provide certain chemical and mechanical testing on consumer products such as children’s toys and textiles.

The new laboratory’s focus is on providing chemical and mechanical testing and assessment services for consumer products including wearing apparel, costumes, upholstery, and home furnishings as well as toys, and children’s products. With its recent ISO 17025 accreditation, the global quality standard for testing and calibration laboratories, the Bentonville laboratory is recognized for technical competence in specific areas of chemical testing such as lead and phthalate content. In addition, the laboratory is able to perform a variety of tests for evaluating mechanical safety and flammability requirements.

In addition to testing for toys and textile consumer products, the laboratory also offers testing for consumer electronics, appliances, household goods and décor, cosmetics, and others. The laboratory tests to a number of national and international standards including RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals), product life cycle green compliance, and others.