Court: Upper Deck Liable for Counterfeit Yu Gi Oh! Cards
posted on by Egan Loo
The United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled on December 23 in favor of the game developer Konami Digital Entertainment (KDE) in a pre-trial judgment against the card distributor Upper Deck on the manufacturing and sale of alleged counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. The court found Upper Deck liable for federal trademark counterfeiting and infringement, unfair competition under federal and California law, and common law trademark infringement.
However, the court denied KDE's motion for a partial summary judgment, and the case is still scheduled to go to trial on January 26. The court found liability regarding the copyrighted art on the reverse of the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, but ruled that KDE did not meet burden for similar claims on the "other art/text" yet. Nevertheless, the court found in favor of KDE regarding Upper Deck's counterclaims of breach of contract and slander.
Upper Deck is currently in a legal dispute over this card game based on Kazuki Takahashi's manga. KDE alleged last year that Upper Deck "distributed and currently is distributing to [the reseller Vintage Sports Cards] and others counterfeit reproductions of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG's 'Rare Cards.'" Due to a separate preliminary injunction that KDE filed against Upper Deck, Upper Deck had already cancelled its Yu-Gi-Oh! events in North America last spring. Konami has since taken over operations related to the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise in North America while the lawsuit in California continues.