MLB Sues Upper Deck Over Card Sales

Posted by redsoxcollector on February 4, 2010 at 10:59 AM



"Major League Baseball Properties filed suit against Upper Deck in a New York federal court on Monday alleging that the Carlsbad, Calif-based company is in violation of its trademarks in a pair of recently released baseball card products.


On Friday, MLBP issued a statement that it would “vigorously use all legal means to protect the intellectual property of Major League Baseball and its member Clubs.”


The filing notes that Upper Deck owes MLB Properties $2.4 million and that the company’s actions are “reflective of a pattern of utter disrespect for the contractual and intellectual property rights of those from whom it licenses valuable trademarks.”


Upper Deck’s baseball cards are not licensed by MLB Properties but are approved by the MLB Players Association. MLB awarded Topps its exclusive contract beginning in 2010. A pair of recently released baseball card sets — 2009 Signature Stars and 2009 Ultimate Collection — show logos in photos of players but do not otherwise use MLB trademarks as part of the card designs.


Upper Deck declined to comment on the licensing issue. However, in a letter to its distributors, the company threatened legal action of its own against MLBP after MLBP told distributors that it should not sell the products." 

I wondered why I saw 2010 Upper Deck cards on the market after MLB announced it was only licensing Topps to make cards in 2010.  By the way, I hear the 2010 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection cards are awesome.  

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