Wednesday, March 03, 2010

MLB settles with Upper Deck

If you are an active reader of other sports collector blogs then this is old news. Today, it was announced that MLB Properties has settled their lawsuit with Upper Deck, and it appears that Upper Deck took a big whack to their business. As has been reported already on other blogs, below is a rundown of some of the known elements of the settlement.
  • Upper Deck will pay MLB Properties $2.4Mil that it is due from past royalties that were not paid
  • Additionally, UD will pay MLB a unspecified sum for the cards made in violation of their trademarks. This amount is thought to be substantial.
  • UD agrees not to produce anymore Baseball cards/set in violation of MLB's trademarks- MLB logos, uniforms, trade dress, or club color combinations.
  • UD will also not airbrush, alter or block MLB trademarks on any future product.
  • UD must receive approval from MLB to use baseball jerseys, pants, jackets, caps, helmets or catcher’s equipment in future products featuring players. (I wonder if this means no more game-used uniform cut pieces in card products?)
  • According to UD, they have canceled all 2010 Baseball products in the pipeline, but will be allowed to continue selling the products that have already come to market that were found to be in violation- 2009 Signature Stars, 2009 Ultimate Collection and 2010 Upper Deck Series 1.
Overall, I think this means no more Baseball cards from Upper Deck. I can't imagine how they can make a set were they can't even do a little bit of photo-shopping.

Cards of ball players not in uniform, but in street clothes? I can't imagine that being a big seller.

Frankly, I'm not shedding a tear. Obviously, the lack of competition in the Baseball card hobby is not good news, but cheaters cannot be allowed to prosper. And as many collectors know, Upper Deck has done a lot of cheating over its history.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see Upper Deck go. Their rise pretty much coincided with me losing interest in card collecting back in the late 80s, early 90s. Way too many specialized sets that weren't special at all. That's when I first began to notice how many shows, stores and collectors were in it for the 'investment' rather than the love of it. Can't blame UD for all of that, but they had a lot to do with it. Good riddance.


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