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Old 03-03-2010, 07:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default MLB Properties settles trademark lawsuit with Upper Deck

MLB Properties settles trademark lawsuit with Upper Deck
March 3, 2010, 5:18 pm


Major League Baseball Properties settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against Upper Deck on Wednesday.

MLBP released a statement detailing the non-confidential portions of the agreement on Wednesday evening.

“Our settlement in the case against Upper Deck is a clear and decisive victory for Major League Baseball,” said Ethan Orlinsky, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Major League Baseball Properties. “Upper Deck will be unable to release baseball trading cards that incorporate Major League Baseball’s intellectual property in the future. The real winners today are the millions of fans who collect baseball cards. They will be able to clearly identify official Major League Baseball trading cards without any confusion.”

Here is a summary of the non-confidential portions of the settlement:


– Upper Deck will pay MLB Properties more than $2.4 million (the entire amount in dispute) for Upper Deck’s 2009 debts.

– Upper Deck will pay MLB Properties a substantial sum of money for the unlicensed cards it sold in 2010. The specific sum of that payment is confidential.

– Upper Deck has agreed not to issue any additional releases of infringing cards. Last year it issued 15 baseball card releases and there are currently only three infringing releases that are in distribution in 2010.

– Upper Deck agreed it will not make any new sets of cards using MLB logos, uniforms, trade dress, or Club color combinations.

– Upper Deck also agreed it will not airbrush, alter or block MLB marks in future products.

– Upper Deck must receive approval from MLB for the use of baseball jerseys, pants, jackets, caps, helmets or catcher’s equipment in future products featuring players.

MLB Properties settles trademark lawsuit with Upper Deck The Beckett Blog
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Wow...

talk about a crushing defeat. Looks like Upper Deck can't even make an insert set with birds unless they leave out blue jays, orioles, and cardinals, etc.

I kind of like that

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Old 03-03-2010, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=blowoutcards;488310]MLB Properties settles trademark lawsuit with Upper Deck
March 3, 2010, 5:18 pm


Major League Baseball Properties settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against Upper Deck on Wednesday.

MLBP released a statement detailing the non-confidential portions of the agreement on Wednesday evening.

Here is a summary of the non-confidential portions of the settlement:

– Upper Deck will pay MLB Properties a substantial sum of money for the unlicensed cards it sold in 2010. The specific sum of that payment is confidential.

– Upper Deck agreed it will not make any new sets of cards using MLB logos, uniforms, trade dress, or Club color combinations.

– Upper Deck also agreed it will not airbrush, alter or block MLB marks in future products.

– Upper Deck must receive approval from MLB for the use of baseball jerseys, pants, jackets, caps, helmets or catcher’s equipment in future products featuring players.

QUOTE]

These are the KEY points in all of this...if anyone knows the amount which is prob a lot please let everyone know lol

if you cant use MLB unis or colors of the clubs well there goes basbeall cards for UD

and to get approvel for the use of all the materials is prob the biggest thing and dont expect to see any more "jumbo" sick nast patches like in 09 Ult in the future of UD baseball do to all of this...

I truthfully think its stupid ot only partner up with one company but ahh well
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"The real winners today are the millions of fans who collect baseball cards. They will be able to clearly identify official Major League Baseball trading cards without any confusion.”

What arrogant stupidity. To put this victory on us as the winners is horse poop. We arent any better off because of this stupid settlement. All the people LIKED the way ultimate was done. MLBP was the one who had a problem with it, not us. The real winners are the pockets of MLBP which will be a little fatter because of this. What crap.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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"The real winners today are the millions of fans who collect baseball cards. They will be able to clearly identify official Major League Baseball trading cards without any confusion.”

What arrogant stupidity. To put this victory on us as the winners is horse poop. We arent any better off because of this stupid settlement. All the people LIKED the way ultimate was done. MLBP was the one who had a problem with it, not us. The real winners are the pockets of MLBP which will be a little fatter because of this. What crap.
As much as I despise UD, I totally agree. It is a way for MLBPA to get some extra $$$ AND put a spin on it like they are doing us a favor. I admire that though, I think its cool to have the balls to do that. Oh well.

I cant believe they went as far as jersey cards. Will we see an UD all auto set? Sweetspot with no filler jerseys?
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This is a huge victory for collectors. Think about it. UD can essential only sell baseball cards of guys in street clothes with the city name. This will cut into the number of baseball releases each year. In turn, increasing the value of the products that are released. That is a huge win for guys like me that rip and flip. I'm glad UD got dragged through the mud in this settlement. They had it coming.

And if you think Ultimate was going to be the norm if this settlement had gone the other way, your out of your mind. The product was an inventory dump. Much better than the Topps Sig basketball sticker dump, but a dump none the less. Had they not been facing a kick in the balls from MLBP, the baseball release would have looked a lot like football, which is total garbage.
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is a huge victory for collectors. Think about it. UD can essential only sell baseball cards of guys in street clothes with the city name. This will cut into the number of baseball releases each year. In turn, increasing the value of the products that are released. That is a huge win for guys like me that rip and flip. I'm glad UD got dragged through the mud in this settlement. They had it coming.

And if you think Ultimate was going to be the norm if this settlement had gone the other way, your out of your mind. The product was an inventory dump. Much better than the Topps Sig basketball sticker dump, but a dump none the less. Had they not been facing a kick in the balls from MLBP, the baseball release would have looked a lot like football, which is total garbage.
agree completely with you on ult football...whats funny is people thought the football was going to be just like the baseball...umm nope!!! now hit me a marino auto tonight
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Could MLB Properties use these two clauses to next go after Sportkings? I think that they have every right to do so because Sportkings is intentionally utilizing MLB property without paying their fair share. I have never respected unlicensed product companies.


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– Upper Deck agreed it will not make any new sets of cards using MLB logos, uniforms, trade dress, or Club color combinations.

– Upper Deck must receive approval from MLB for the use of baseball jerseys, pants, jackets, caps, helmets or catcher’s equipment in future products featuring players.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by deltapi1049 View Post
"The real winners today are the millions of fans who collect baseball cards. They will be able to clearly identify official Major League Baseball trading cards without any confusion.”

What arrogant stupidity. To put this victory on us as the winners is horse poop. We arent any better off because of this stupid settlement. All the people LIKED the way ultimate was done. MLBP was the one who had a problem with it, not us. The real winners are the pockets of MLBP which will be a little fatter because of this. What crap.
Full disclosure: deltapi1049 writes for UD's official blog...

There was confusion with the release as far as what was allowed and it sets a precedent for other sports/releases. Collectors liked it because in my opinion, UD purposely loaded it so they'd look like the victim when they eventually got in trouble for breaking the rules. If Ultimate was a crappy product like the overwhelming majority of their recent baseball releases, this wouldn't be an issue and nobody would care.

The fact is, they didn't have permission to release the product in the first place, so how good of a product it was is irrelevant. Panini could make some awesome baseball releases if they wanted to as well, but that argument doesn't mean they can ignore the rules either just because they'd make a good product.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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and dont expect to see any more "jumbo" sick nast patches like in 09 Ult in the future
dude, those were all fake anyway, c'mon.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Are you insuating that a company that intentionally issues several unlicensed sets in the face of MLB Properties would resort to using fake and/or manufactured patches in 2009 Ultimate?

Say it ain't so

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dude, those were all fake anyway, c'mon.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Did we ever get any finalized checklists for the last 3 products they can still sell?
I wouldn't be surprised to see 'new' cards coming out of Ultimate/Signature Stars/Series 1...just turn the printing presses back on to dump the rest of the jerseys/stickers they may have had lying around just in case the lawsuit would turn out in their favor.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm personally surprised they settled this. If they didn't have that pre-existing contract specfically forbidding them from using marks after the license expiry, they probably could have won. Two defenses are used in trademark litigation -- Nomative and Classic 'Fair Use'. The jist of it is that if they only use the mark to describe the product, and the product cannot be accurately described without the mark, then the use is 'fair'. Does get a bit more complicated than this, but I'll spare you the details. The point is that you can't designate a St. Louis Cardinals player without using that mark.

The actual amount of this settlement will need to be disclosed after the payment is made to MLB, as MLB operates a Trust with Congressional Approval -- why Congress was involved with the sterods stuff. The US authorizes the monopoly, and as such has certain exercisable power over it. Eventually, we'll get the number because of that.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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So what happens to all of the Ultimate baseball boxes that were held at the distributors? Do they get released?
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:22 AM   #15 (permalink)
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good no more ud is good for all of us topps fans
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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So what happens to all of the Ultimate baseball boxes that were held at the distributors? Do they get released?
It should mean that. Under the terms as I understand them UD have paid an undisclosed fee for the release of the first three unauthorized, but printed, sets as well as the $2.4 Mil. they owed from 2009. This was very likely settled out of court to stop UD from going completely under. Some money is better than no money...
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:30 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default So...

What about 2010 Goudey, SpX, and SP Authentic? Do they just get canceled?

Personally I don't care. Wasn't gonna buy it anyway.

Just wondering,
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:25 AM   #18 (permalink)
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This is a huge victory for collectors. Think about it. UD can essential only sell baseball cards of guys in street clothes with the city name. This will cut into the number of baseball releases each year. In turn, increasing the value of the products that are released. That is a huge win for guys like me that rip and flip. I'm glad UD got dragged through the mud in this settlement. They had it coming.
In theory, sure, but really, I doubt it. Just because the number of releases has now been cut back, doesn't mean topps can't just put new products out, or water down the existing products. They are a company, in it to make money just like anyone else.
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:31 AM   #19 (permalink)
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While Topps is the grand daddy of all things cards, they've really been bad with their baseball line for awhile now. Their high end releases are not very good, their Bowman line has been watered down and weak the past few years and their card designs pale in comparison to UDs. Plus their customer service blows.

While I can't stand the powers that be at UD and their shady practices, you can't argue they make some of the nicest cards going these days. All this court ruling proves YET AGAIN it that this industry is fueled by greed and there is no real regard for the consumer / collector.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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UD can essential only sell baseball cards of guys in street clothes with the city name. This will cut into the number of baseball releases each year. In turn, increasing the value of the products that are released.

totally wrong. what is released will be produced in greater quantity, "rip and flippers" will be in greater competition because they will have less choices making it harder to profit, and more collectors will leave the hobby because of boredom from lack of diversity. this was already happening to some extent after donruss had its license pulled and this exclusivity deal will make things worse.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:33 PM   #21 (permalink)
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This is a huge victory for collectors. Think about it. UD can essential only sell baseball cards of guys in street clothes with the city name. This will cut into the number of baseball releases each year. In turn, increasing the value of the products that are released. That is a huge win for guys like me that rip and flip. I'm glad UD got dragged through the mud in this settlement. They had it coming.

And if you think Ultimate was going to be the norm if this settlement had gone the other way, your out of your mind. The product was an inventory dump. Much better than the Topps Sig basketball sticker dump, but a dump none the less. Had they not been facing a kick in the balls from MLBP, the baseball release would have looked a lot like football, which is total garbage.
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totally wrong. what is released will be produced in greater quantity, "rip and flippers" will be in greater competition because they will have less choices making it harder to profit, and more collectors will leave the hobby because of boredom from lack of diversity. this was already happening to some extent after donruss had its license pulled and this exclusivity deal will make things worse.
Not sure about that either Phil at least not with FB. Not entirely sure if its the same with baseball as football but with Topps losing their FB liscense you'd think it was to lessen the amount of releases but that's not the case. Both Panini and UD will be allowed to release more products this year, I believe up to another 5 brands each. Kind of defeats the purpose of killing off Topps using the over saturation and confusion excuse eh.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not sure about that either Phil at least not with FB. Not entirely sure if its the same with baseball as football but with Topps losing their FB liscense you'd think it was to lessen the amount of releases but that's not the case. Both Panini and UD will be allowed to release more products this year, I believe up to another 5 brands each. Kind of defeats the purpose of killing off Topps using the over saturation and confusion excuse eh.


i was talking about MLB, don't open much NFL. even before UD was cut there weren't enough MLB products to keep everyone interested at the same levels as in the past, and this will only serve to shrink the collector market even further.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:49 AM   #23 (permalink)
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i miss premier baseball one of UD's best products MINUS the damn coasters lol
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