UPDATE: Upper Deck's statement added.
Major League Baseball has settled its lawsuit against Upper Deck today. Following is a summary of the non-confidential portions of the settlement, per MLB.
- Upper Deck will pay Major League Baseball Properties more than $2.4 million (the entire amount in dispute) for Upper Deck’s 2009 debts.
- Upper Deck will pay Major League Baseball Properties a substantial sum of monies for the unlicensed cards it sold in 2010. The specific sum of that payment is confidential as part of the settlement.
- Upper Deck has agreed not to issue any additional releases of infringing cards. Last year they issued 15 baseball card releases and there are currently only three infringing releases that are in distribution in 2010.
- Upper Deck agreed it will not make any new sets of cards using MLB logos, uniforms, trade dress, or Club color combinations.
- Upper Deck also agreed it will not airbrush, alter or block MLB marks in future products.
- Upper Deck must receive approval from MLB for the use of baseball jerseys, pants, jackets, caps, helmets or catcher’s equipment in future products featuring players.
“Our settlement in the case against Upper Deck is a clear and decisive victory for Major League Baseball,” said Ethan Orlinsky, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Major League Baseball Properties. “Upper Deck will be unable to release baseball trading cards that incorporate Major League Baseball’s intellectual property in the future. The real winners today are the millions of fans who collect baseball cards. They will be able to clearly identify official Major League Baseball trading cards without any confusion.”
Upper Deck, in a statement, said in part:
Per the terms of the settlement agreement, Upper Deck has agreed not to use MLB trademarks including team names and/or logos on its trading cards going forward. However, as part of the settlement, Upper Deck can and will continue to sell three recently released baseball products currently on store shelves: 2009 Signature Stars, 2009 Ultimate Collection and 2010 Upper Deck Series One.
“Upper Deck is pleased with the settlement including the amount the company paid as it relates to the trading cards released in 2010,” said Jason Masherah, Upper Deck’s director of Sports Brands. “As a company, we are changing the direction of Upper Deck’s baseball products going forward. We are looking forward to creating fresh and innovative set content that will continue to get collectors excited.”
"Great cards of great players have always been the cornerstone of Upper Deck products,” added Upper Deck Founder and CEO Richard McWilliam. “We’ll just have to see how innovative and creative we can become now.”
Source: Major League Baseball, The Upper Deck Co.
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