Law of Cards: MLB, NHL, NBA, CLC Get Massive Judgment in Fake Memorabilia Case

Law of Cards: MLB, NHL, NBA, CLC Get Massive Judgment in Fake Memorabilia Case

The lawsuit brought by the University of Alabama, Major League Baseball, the University of Oklahoma, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the Collegiate Licensing Company against 893 defendant websites that allegedly sold counterfeit goods using the plaintiffs' trademarks has come to an amazing conclusion for the plaintiffs. In a November 20 order, the Northern District of Illinois ordered that each defendant must pay the plaintiffs statutory damages in the amount of $2 million.

Legal translation: Wow, let's see. That's 893 defendant websites times $2 million each. If my quick math is correct that's like a ka-jillion dollars.

Keep in mind the case only began on October 8, so to get such an astronomical result is nothing short of amazing.

It helped, however, that the defendant websites didn't show up to defend themselves. In fact, because all the defendants allegedly were foreign websites, I'd be shocked if the plaintiffs ever collect more than $200,000.

But the massive judgment was not the plaintiffs' only goal. They wanted those 893 websites shutdown. And they got that, too. The judge made the initial, temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction permanent.

Legal translation: All that stuff the defendants had to stop doing while the lawsuit was on-going, they have to keep not doing. This includes 1) continuing to not use any of the plaintiffs' trademarks or selling any goods with those marks and 2) basically, needing to shutdown their web sites.

So, to summarize, in less than two months, the plaintiffs shut down 893 websites and received a victory (which, although pyrrhic, is still stupendous) of $18 billion dollars.

I think the attorneys working on those cases earned their billable hours.

For those interested, a copy of the final order (outlining the terms of the injunction and defendant names) is here, and the $2 million award per defendant order is here.

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.

Top eBay Listings

2013 13-14 Fleer Showcase #196 Tanner Pearson Jersey Autograph 69 375 RC Rookie
$29.99

ALEX MEYER 2013 Bowman Chrome Auto Autograph Rookie RC TWINS
$15.00

CLEVELAND BROWNS 2012 LEAF AUTO MINI HELMET 2013 SUPREME 2BOX BREAK #26
$13.50

2013 Topps Archives Football Ed McCaffrey Auto MINT! Broncos!
$14.99

2014 Topps WWE Bray Wyatt Gold Auto #9 10 SUPER RARE
$399.99

2014 Bowman Chrome YORDANO VENTURA GOLD REFRACTOR AUTOGRAPH Auto PSA 10 #11 50
$150.00

2013 Prizm Perennial Draft Signatures Red #4 Kohl Stewart Auto 100 - NM-MT
$15.00

2013 Select Signatures Prizm #95 Jean Segura #d 3 25 REDEEMED! Auto
$12.50

2013 National Treasures Rookie Jumbo Booklet AUTO JERSEY Tyler Wilson 18 49
$22.50

2013 National Treasures Rookie Jumbo Booklet AUTO JERSEY Johnathan Franklin 49
$22.50

2014-15 PANINI HOOPS #75 ELFRID PAYTON AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE RC ORLANDO MAGIC, 050315
$22.45

2013 13-14 Fleer Showcase #197 Alex Chiasson Jersey Autograph RC Rookie 4
$19.99

2014 Topps Triple Threads DiDi Gregorius Relic Auto SSP 25
$18.20

NICK CASTELLANOS 2014 Topps Finest Autograph Auto Rookie RC SIGNED TIGERS
$12.95

2014 PANINI NATIONAL TREASURES TIMELINE AUTO RELIC OF ANDREW LUCK!!
$250.00

GREEN BAY PACKERS 2012 LEAF AUTO MINI HELMET 2013 SUPREME 2BOX BREAK #26
$10.40
« Previous1234

 |  E-Mail | URL
Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department (http://www.simmonsfirm.com). 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+.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

MENU