Major League Baseball Properties sues Upper Deck US

The licensing arm for the sport accuses firm of trademark infringement for using logos on trading cards without permission.
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Reuters has reported that in its complaint, Major League Baseball said Upper Deck has distributed unauthorised 'Signature Stars' and 'Ultimate Collection' lines of trading cards, and is on the verge of distributing several other unauthorised card lines.

It said Upper Deck's cards improperly feature various sport and team logos, and that some 2010 packaging featuring New York Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter may confuse consumers because of its similarity to authorised packaging used in 2009.

The complaint said: "Upper Deck's current conduct is reflective of a pattern of utter disrespect for the contractual and intellectual property rights of those from whom it licenses valuable trademarks."

It continued to say that the company remains in default of more than $2.4 million it owes Major League Baseball.

Major League Baseball seeks to halt sales of unauthorised cards, and also seeks triple and punitive damages.

Topps last year settled a lawsuit in which it accused Upper Deck US of stealing its designs for baseball cards. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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The Copyrights Group is one of the licensing arms within The Vivendi Group. Acquired by Vivendi in 2016 Copyrights manages the licensing for a portfolio of properties to include Paddington Bear. Some of the other companies within the Vivendi Group include Universal Music Group, and their licensing arm Bravado, Gameloft and Studiocanal to name a few.