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Old 03-09-2010, 12:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upper Deck Dealt Losing Hand in Legal Battle

Upper Deck Dealt Losing Hand in Legal Battle
Posted date: 3/8/2010
By JOEL RUSSELL

In August 2008, an employee of Konami Digital Media noticed something strange while visiting a Toys ”R” Us store in the Los Angeles area.

Some packs of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, a popular fantasy game sold by Konami’s Japanese parent company, looked odd.

The holographic logo on some of the cards appeared misaligned and they didn’t have the correct color. In addition, the fonts looked wrong.

The employee bought the packs and took them to Konami’s U.S. headquarters in El Segundo, where employees determined that some of the cards — specifically rare cards that players highly value — were counterfeit.

Then came the big shocker: Konami ultimately traced the manufacture of the bogus cards to The Upper Deck Co. — its exclusive U.S. distributor — which had no right to manufacture any of its cards.

In the next year or so, Konami discovered a lot more: Namely, that Upper Deck, a Carlsbad company that recently lost its right to produce cards for Major League Baseball, had manufactured some 611,000 rare cards without its permission, but more than one-third of them were recovered by a Konami private investigator in October 2008 before they could be repackaged for sale, according to court filings.

Konami ended its business relationship with Upper Deck and sued the company in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The legal battle quietly came to a head in late January after a federal judge, in a summary judgment before the trial, found that Upper Deck was liable for counterfeiting.

Upper Deck Exec: CEO Directed Scheme

Depositions and evidence presented in court by Konami showed that Upper Deck went to great lengths to make the bogus cards — including assigning code names to the project, reproducing Konami’s security foil, and having the cards manufactured in China. An Upper Deck executive also testified that company founder, owner and CEO Richard McWilliam directed the scheme.

The two sides reached a confidential settlement shortly after a jury was seated to consider how much damages Konami should be awarded. But in opening arguments before the settlement, Upper Deck’s attorney made a stunning admission as he argued for jurors to minimize the damages, according to transcripts.

“I’m here defending a counterfeiter,” said attorney Richard Howell of Rutan & Tucker LLP in Costa Mesa. “We’re talking about behavior that, from a defense attorney’s standpoint, I can’t defend, and I am not going to defend.”

Upper Deck did have a broader defense, though: It claimed never to have sold the rare cards, but had them repackaged with more common cards as part of what it calls an “unauthorized promotion” to unload slow-moving inventory. It called the cards “variants,” not counterfeits. (Variant is a term used by Konami to describe any special card not distributed in a regular pack.)
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, if they will counterfit cards what else would they be willing to do to make a dollar? At least they don't backdoor their top cards.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, if they will counterfit cards what else would they be willing to do to make a dollar? At least they don't backdoor their top cards.

If you honestly believe that all of the sick patches coming out of 09 Ultimate baseball are game worn, you are a fool. Rumors leaked from UD are that most of these were worn in pre-season games or warm ups...I'm sure they are just manufactured patches. So sad because they look awesome.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, if they will counterfit cards what else would they be willing to do to make a dollar? At least they don't backdoor their top cards.

LMAO
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The ones I had were Game-Worn.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you believe Upper Deck is an ethical company, you believe rocks can grow.
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