Lady Gaga, Universal Music Unit Are Targets of Lawsuit by Bratz Dolls Maker MGA

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The company has sued the music star and her music and management firms for delaying approval of a Lady Gaga doll line.

Toy firm MGA Entertainment, the maker of the Bratz line of dolls, has sued Lady Gaga and her management firm for delaying approval of a Lady Gaga doll line.

The company is alleging breach of contract and seeking more than $10 million in damages in its New York state lawsuit, Bloomberg News reported.

It said the suit cited the pop star, her management company Atom Factory and Universal Music Group-owned merchandising firm Bravado International Group as defendants.

MGA Entertainment's complaint says that it agreed to produce dolls in Lady Gaga’s image in Dec. 2011 at Bravado’s “request and insistence” and paid the company a $1 million fee amid plans to ship the dolls to retailers this summer ahead of the important holiday selling season, according to Bloomberg.

But in April, Bravado told MGA that Lady Gaga wanted to delay production and shipping until her new album release in 2013, it cited from the complaint. MGA estimated $28 million in revenue for the fall 2012 retail season from the Lady Gaga dolls, Bloomberg also cited from the complaint.

MGA claims that final approval has been delayed to push back the launch and marketing of the dolls until next year. The complaint says the toy company paid "an excessively generous royalty rate, invested millions in the preproduction of the Lady Gaga dolls and put its reputation and goodwill on the line in order to secure distributors and retail shelf space,” Bloomberg said.

MGA last year won $310 million in damages and fees from toy giant Mattel in a long legal battle over the ownership of the Bratz dolls rights, but Mattel this year asked a federal appeals court to reverse the decision.

A spokeswoman for Lady Gaga said the music star hadn’t seen the complaint and had no comment, according to Bloomberg.
“This is a dispute between Universal Music Group’s merchandising company and MGA,” she said. “There was no legitimate reason for dragging Lady Gaga into that dispute. Lady Gaga will vigorously defend MGA’s ill-conceived lawsuit and is confident that she will prevail.”

A spokesman for Vivendi's Universal Music Group said the claims were meritless and the company would vigorously defend itself in court.


Twitter: @georgszalai