Law of Cards: Upper Deck Wins MASKS Trademark Battle

Law of Cards: Upper Deck Wins MASKS Trademark Battle

Well, the MASKS trademark challenge ended before it could begin.

In late March, Panini's MASKS trademark application was published for opposition. Given that the word "mask" was used by others in the industry on trading cards (e.g, Mask Collection, The Mask, etc.), I predicted someone (likely Upper Deck) would try and defeat it. Otherwise, Panini could control the word "masks" and maybe even "mask" on trading cards.

Soon thereafter, Upper Deck filed a motion to ask for more time to consider whether or not to oppose the mark. This was a cost savings step (it’s less expensive to file a motion like this than to start a full-blown opposition) conceivably to see if Upper Deck could work something out with Panini so that no one would need to waste money. This made sense since the NHL had just selected Upper Deck as its exclusive licensee. Panini likely would not want to fight over a mark which has most of its value tied up in hockey cards.

Upper Deck's strategy worked. Although Panini had until May 10 to make a decision, last week, it abandoned its MASKS trademark application.

This is a good win for Upper Deck, and the industry, because it frees up a commonly used term. Also, along with Topps' LIMITED opposition, it shows the industry is monitoring trademark filings, and any overly broad trademarks will likely be challenged.

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

1995-96 (HKY) Pinnacle Masks #10 Jocelyn Thibault
$25.00

99 00 Pacific Dynagon Ice Goalie Masks Mike Richter Holographic Gold 18 99 RARE
$24.00

2002 3 UD MASK COLLECTION JASON SPEZZA ROOKIE RC 893 1250
$9.98

09-10 2009-10 BETWEEN THE PIPES JONAS HILLER GOLD MEDAL MASKS GMM-04 DUCKS
$6.49

Upper Deck Replica Mini Goalie Mask Evgeni Nabokov Nabby San Jose Sharks MINT
$49.99

Wendell Young , 1993-94 , Pinnacle Masks , #7
$10.00

94 95 Patrick Roy Rare Ma1 Pinnacle Mask!!!
$59.00

2001-02 ITG In The Game Between The Pipes The Mask Brett Johnson
$7.95

1996 COLLECTOR'S EDGE ICE THE WALL FACTORY SET * Masks * Jim Carey, Mike Dunham
$5.99

2001-02 UPPER DECK MASK COLLECTION #110 , ED BELFOUR , DALLAS !! BOX 40
$6.49

2000-01 Finnish Cardset Masquerade 9 cards MASK Set Backstrom Niittymaki Draper
$7.00

1992-93 PINNACLE MASK ENTIRE SUBSET W BELFOUR, FUHR,RICHTER,JOSEPH,MOOG MINT+!
$12.00

2003-04 BAP Memorabilia Masks III 3 #1 Jean-Sebastien Giguere Anaheim Ducks
$5.04

2013 ITG Decades 90's Lot of 13 Different Mask Insert Cards
$6.00

2002-03 UPPER DECK MASK COLLECTION JASON SPEZZA RC UD ROOKIE SP 1500 #171
$14.99

Patrick Roy 2010-11 ITG Decades 1980s Memorable Masks
$8.00
« 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+.

Leave a Comment:

MENU