Law of Cards: The Card Collector Fights Back Against Beckett's Copyright Claims

Law of Cards: The Card Collector Fights Back Against Beckett’s Copyright Claims

Last April, Beckett filed a lawsuit against Custom Plush Productions Inc, maker of The Card Collector, accusing it of accessing Beckett's pricing guides through Beckett's website and unlawfully "scraping" Beckett's copyrightable checklist and pricing data.

This week, The Card Collector answered Beckett's complaint, denied any wrongdoing and brought a counterclaim for attorneys' fees.

Like most answers in federal court, The Card Collector's is bare bones, so we don't get much insight into its defenses. We do, however, have the following paragraph given as the basis for its attorneys' fee claim:

The Plaintiff did not make a reasonable inquiry into the facts and law before pursuing this lawsuit against the Defendant. There was ample time for investigation available to the Plaintiff before filing this lawsuit. The Plaintiff's claims are based, in whole or in part, on factual representations of the Defendant's purportedly infringing product without having properly investigated the actual content of this product. Therefore, the Defendant seeks compensatory damages in having to defend this lawsuit as well as any non-monetary damages that the Court deems just and appropriate.

Legal translation: "Beckett did not do its homework, and therefore it should have to pay for my attorney's time."

The Card Collector doesn't given any "evidence" to support its defenses or attorneys' fee claim, but that's OK (and typical), because detailed facts are not required at the complaint/answer stage.

But, now this case is ready to begin! Let's see if Beckett can prove its copyright claim, or if The Card Collector can win on its defenses.

Or, in all likelihood, let's wait for the inevitable settlement that will leave us scratching our heads as to who won.

The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

The views expressed in the "Law of Cards" column are solely those of the author and are not affiliated with the Simmons Law Firm. You should not act or rely on any information in the "Law of Cards" column without seeking the advice of an attorney. The determination of whether you need legal services and your choice of a lawyer are very important matters that should not be based on websites or advertisements.

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Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department ( Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid baseball card collector. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

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