What should be the final post on the Topps CMG lawsuit

25 06 2008

Sports Collector’s Daily readers found this a week ago. I just found it today, and thought I’d share it with you in case you missed it.

First, a recap. CMG and Topps signed an exclusive agreement allowing Topps the exclusive use of images and names of a number of deceased baseball players in their products. Upper Deck’s Legendary Cuts release was designed when Upper Deck still had the rights to those players, and it contained cards with players they no longer had the rights to. According to the Daily article, Upper Deck made changes to the release :

Upper Deck’s product development team then removed images of those players controlled by CMG from the Legendary Cuts product, keeping only cards with cut signatures and no images. Topps still felt the cards were in violation of its deal with CMG, but the court ruled otherwise.

Sport’s Collectors Daily obtained a copy of the ruling which they quote at their site. The short version is, the judge ruled that the financial damage to Upper Deck by keeping these cards off the market far outweighs the damages that Topps would receive if they won the lawsuit based on the small amount of cards that may violate the Topps-CMG agreement. The judge also ruled that the public’s interest is served best by allowing these cards to go forth

The judge also takes issue with Topps process in seeking the restraining order. You can read more about that part, if interested, at Sport’s Collectors Daily.

The end result appears to have Legendary Cuts back in the hands of collectors with no references to the product on Upper Deck’s website and the removal of players covered by the agreement from Upper Deck’s Yankee Stadium Legacy release. Not exactly what Topps was looking for, but still damaging to Upper Deck and to their future releases.

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