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Major League Baseball sues Upper Deck

Feb 2, 2010, 9:29 AM EDT

The league’s marketing arm, Major League Baseball Properties, has sued card manufacturer Upper Deck for trademark infringement, claiming that they’ve  for using team logos on baseball cards without permission.  Last year baseball granted Topps the sole right to use logos and stuff, presumably forcing Upper Deck to hire the guys that used to airbrush the logos off football helmets and stuff back in the day.

Since the suit was just filed yesterday, there remains plenty of time to amend it to include claims related to Upper Deck totally effing up baseball cards by adding holograms and foil and inserts of autographs and jersey fabrics and stuff.  And frankly, those are the claims in which I’m most interested.

  1. Jonny5 - Feb 2, 2010 at 9:40 AM

    hmmmm? Meaning these cards could be recalled in the near future?? Meaning I’m not actually running out to buy umm, every single upper deck baseball card I can get my hands on……. Cha Ching!!!! Uhh, I mean Topps cards will surely be a huge collectors item…….

  2. motherscratcher - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Everyone could see this coming when the products got released. It’s almost like Upper Deck decided “Eff It! If we are going out, we’re going out wiht a bang.”

  3. salvo - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    I left a similar query at BTF: does MLB’s interpretation mean that they could prevent me from, say, selling prints of my watercolor paintings of Albert Pujols on eBay if the “StL” logo is visible on his cap????

  4. Chipmaker - Feb 2, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    MLB Properties screwed this pooch a few years ago when it didn’t renew the license for Donruss. Upper Deck should have died then, and while it’ll never happen, the Topps license is overdue for revocation as well. Bring back Donruss.

  5. Benjamin - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Ummm Craig…..exclusive rights to a “log”? What the hell does Topps want with a log???

  6. Dan - Feb 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    salvo: Is he naked, wearing only a ball cap? If so, I’ll take three.

  7. Rays fan - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Craig, I completely agree with your second paragraph. The card companies with the endless number of chase cards and making impossible-to-complete sets made the hobby less about kids (and adults) who simply like to collect the cards and more about speculators trying to make a buck. [To those who hoarded Mark McGwire rookie cards--how's that "investment plan" going?]
    I still have all my cards from when I was a kid. One of my most prized was a Carl Yastremski. The speculators would hate it, because it has a stain from the wax paper wrapper. I, on the other hand, like that stain because it reminds me of how excited I was as a boy to see Yaz’s card right on top of the pack I’d opened.

  8. Alex Poterack - Feb 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Yes, and with the caveat that I am not a lawyer, I’m pretty sure that’s not “MLB’s interpretation”, that’s pretty standard interpretation of IP law. That said, I could be wrong.

  9. Kardmutt - Feb 3, 2010 at 2:37 AM

    We all make mistakes from time to time. Some more then others but we all make them. When we make mistakes, sometimes we get away with it and sometimes we do not. Im sure UD knew what they were doing and there are reasons for there actions. I happen to like UD and most, if not all of there products. With out UD collecting would be
    rather boring and almost pointless. This is just my opinion. Topps is good also, but it has always been UD that is setting the standards and Topps trying to duplicate them.This is a fact ! From Jerseys to Cuts, To letter autos, to everything else. They deserve credit for that.
    With that said, the problems that UD are facing are just another bump in the road. This is what most good companys go through form time to time. They all have a way of working out.Recall product? Yes that may and probably will happen.There is nothing wrong with what they did. MLB thinks there is . In reality everthing that went on is perfectly legal. Down the road this will not be seen as a mistake. It will be seen as a creative way of keeping there heads in the game. Even when MLB does not want them to. What we all have to try to understand , Is that Baseball cards are for kids and for grown ups who what to feel like kids. It shouldn’t be about the money. Is that what its about today? Whats in it for me? What are we teaching our kids? That its all about money and the almighty dollar? We all need to take a step back, relax, take a deep breath and figure out, in one word. WHY? How did everything get like this and how do we go about fixing it. One step at a time.

  10. ED - Feb 9, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Kardmutt
    We all make mistakes from time to time. Some more then others but we all make them. When we make mistakes, sometimes we get away with it and sometimes we do not. Im sure UD knew what they were doing and there are reasons for there actions. I happen to like UD and most, if not all of there products. With out UD collecting would be
    rather boring and almost pointless. This is just my opinion. Topps is good also, but it has always been UD that is setting the standards and Topps trying to duplicate them.This is a fact ! From Jerseys to Cuts, To letter autos, to everything else. They deserve credit for that.
    With that said, the problems that UD are facing are just another bump in the road. This is what most good companys go through form time to time. They all have a way of working out.Recall product? Yes that may and probably will happen.There is nothing wrong with what they did. MLB thinks there is . In reality everthing that went on is perfectly legal. Down the road this will not be seen as a mistake. It will be seen as a creative way of keeping there heads in the game. Even when MLB does not want them to. What we all have to try to understand , Is that Baseball cards are for kids and for grown ups who what to feel like kids. It shouldn’t be about the money. Is that what its about today? Whats in it for me? What are we teaching our kids? That its all about money and the almighty dollar? We all need to take a step back, relax, take a deep breath and figure out, in one word. WHY? How did everything get like this and how do we go about fixing it. One step at a time.

  11. Harry Brian - Feb 11, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Hello webmaster I like your post ….

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