Law of Cards: ZhuZhu Pets Dragged Into Upper Deck v UD International Lawsuit

Law of Cards: ZhuZhu Pets Dragged Into Upper Deck v UD International Lawsuit

As was reported last month, UD has blanketed the world with discovery requests, even asking for permission to take discovery of UDI's business opportunities in England and Australia. In other court documents (too boring to deserve their own articles), UD has indicated it also wants to take discovery in the Netherlands, Spain and France, and mentioned it is stuck in a discovery dispute stateside with Hasbro.

All this effort in its quest to find out everything it can about UDI's business.

There’s more. We’ve learned in the most recent court filings that UD has also demanded documents from Sepia Holding LLC about its business dealings with UDI as well.

But Sepia is fighting back. In fact, the company went as far as to file a motion to quash UD's subpoena.

Legal translation: "Your Honor, please tell UD that we don't have to give them squat."

Why would they make such a bold move? Because Sepia's legal counsel looked over the UD2 case documents, and they believe the case is solely about the aftermath of the Konami and UD dealings. Since Sepia had nothing to do with UD and Konami, Sepia's legal counsel told it to oppose UD's request, and not give UD anything.

Now, who is Sepia? Well, it makes those adorable robot rodents called ZhuZhu pets. You know, those mouse-like, chattering toys that six-year-olds let loose in their kitchens on Christmas morning? Except, of course, for a few deprived eight-year-olds who Santa might scorn and give them new pajamas instead of ZhuZhu pets.

Those poor kids will feel just like UD must feel like now. Both are getting nothing from Sepia.

Although, I imagine Sepia's motion to quash looks remarkably like one of those cute, furry toys standing up on its hind legs and flipping UD the bird. At least UD is getting that adorable imagery.

Now, while the UD2 action has grown worldwide, more important to me is that Sepia filed its motion to quash in the Eastern District of Missouri.

Why is that a big deal?

Because it's that building right there out my office window. Just across the river. Where I just spent two days last week in trial!

That means if there is a hearing on this ZhuZhu pet matter, I'll be in the front row with some metaphorical popcorn watching the action. I can picture it now, an army of ZhuZhu pets storming into the courtroom, and with blood-curling (yet oddly cute) chirping noises, leaping at UD's attorneys' throats.

OK, the actual hearing will likely be slightly more formal with recitations from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and case law and all that…and I doubt a ZhuZhu pet will make it into the courtroom, but, still, for an IP litigator like me, it'll still be a fun way to spend part of a workday.

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.

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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+.

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