Trouble for one of the younger companies in the teetering sports card industry.
Management at the Upper Deck Company today settled a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against them by Major League Baseball in February. MLB granted Topps an exclusive licensing deal over the summer, but Upper Deck started producing cards with MLB teams and logos anyway.
Topps had sought more than $2 million from the Carlsbad, Calif.-based memorabilia company, but under the settlement, Upper Deck promises to cease producing trading cards with MLB trademarks on them.
Upper Deck can and will continue to sell its last three recently released baseball products currently on store shelves: 2009 Signature Stars, 2009 Ultimate Collection and 2010 Upper Deck Series One.
"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,” said Jason Masherah, Upper Deck’s director of Sports Brands.
It’s been a bad go of it for Upper Deck since its failed bid last year to acquire Topps, its biggest rival. In January, the company agreed to pay millions to video game giant Konami after a dispute over counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards.