Konami Gets Injunction Against Upper Deck on Yu-Gi-Oh
posted on by Egan Loo
The United States District Court for the Central District of California has granted Konami Digital Entertainment a preliminary injunction against Upper Deck's use of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game brand on Thursday. Until the related lawsuit is resolved or the court orders otherwise, Upper Deck cannot use, display, or reproduce "Konami's trademarks or any copyrighted drawings, artwork, or text from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game ('Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG') in connection with the distribution, promotion, advertising, offering for sale, or sale of any Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG products."
Upper Deck also cannot promote itself as an authorized distributor of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. Except for products in Upper Deck's hands "that were paid for by customers prior to December 11, 2008," Upper Deck can no longer distribute the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG while this injunction is in effect. Upper Deck must "return to Konami […] all computer files, disks, card files, card packages, Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG plates, card databases, promotional cards, and other materials that contain Konami's trademarks or copyrighted works from Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG." The order is conditioned on Konami's posting of a US$700,000 security, although Upper Deck had petitioned for a higher security of US$115 million to be held.
Upper Deck is currently in a legal dispute with Konami, the Japanese licensor and distributor of this game based on Kazuki Takahashi's manga. As recently as January 26, Upper Deck had denied Konami's legal claims and had planned a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament during its "Upper Deck Day" on February 7. Konami contended in an amended December 11 complaint to its lawsuit that Upper Deck "distributed and currently is distributing to Vintage and others counterfeit reproductions of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG's 'Rare Cards.'"
Konami has since announced that it will launch its new Crimson Crisis booster set on its own, through separate sneak peak events at participating retailers between February 28 and March 1. It also released the latest set, the Duelist Pack - Yusei cards, on Tuesday. Upper Deck is cancelling its future Organized Play events for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game in North America as of last week. Upper Deck said in a Thursday statement that it does not believe that "this course of action is in the best interest of the players." Upper Deck filed for a separate injunction on Wednesday against Konami's use of square holograms on the corners of cards (similar to Upper Deck's holograms), but that request has yet to be granted or rejected.