Friday, January 29, 2010

Upper Deck and Konami Settle

Have you ever gone through a jury selection process, been selected to sit on the jury, listen to opening arguments, even hear a bit of the questioning and answering, and then be summarily dismissed the next day. I have and it sucks. Not because you get to go home earlier than expected- that was the only good thing. It sucked because I had mentally prepared myself to lay judgment and was denied the opportunity to sit with my peers to make that decision. I felt like my job was not done.

Well, this is kind of what happened in the trial between Konami and Upper Deck earlier this week.

News has come indicating that the Upper Deck vs. Konami lawsuit is over and a settlement has been made- specifics not disclosed. Surprisingly, Upper Deck later on declares victory.

I say surprisingly because one thing is clear.
Last month, United States District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank ruled that Upper Deck counterfeited over 600,000 cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game, and was liable to the Japanese company for damages.
So, the trail that had started with jury selection and opening statements was only about what amount of damages would be due to Konami, not whether Upper Deck was wrong in its actions.

Anyway, Upper Deck released the following statement post settlement.
Upper Deck is pleased to announce that it has come to a successful resolution with Konami over their year-long dispute regarding Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards. On the eve of trial, the court issued several rulings in Upper Deck’s favor which eliminated and gravely threatened many of Konami’s monetary claims requests. These rulings sent Konami and its attorneys into retreat as Konami’s case was disintegrating. These events, and these events alone, provided the framework for the case to be resolved after opening statements were presented to the jury.
Read the rest here. I'm curious what rulings Upper Deck says hurt Konami's damages claims. Anyway, as has been already reported on Beckett.com Upper Deck is to make it's first multimillion dollar payment on Friday (today?).

Unfortunately for Upper Deck their time in the courtroom will probably not be over as Major League Baseball Properties has already thrown out an opening salvo in a oncoming licensing dispute. I'll be sure to write more about this upcoming Baseball card war.

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