Panini and Leaf Settle Crusade Copyright Infringement Suit – Update
On August 28, I made the following prediction:
Panini and Leaf will settle all of their matters by September 21. In doing so, I believe the LEAF LIMITED action will disappear (likely with Leaf abandoning this application), Leaf will dismiss its oppositions against LIMITED and PRIZM, and Panini will dismiss its VALIANT/CRUSADE copyright complaint against Leaf.
Well, just over a week later, we're about a quarter of the way there. On September 5, well ahead of schedule, Panini dismissed its VALIANT/CRUSADE copyright infringement lawsuit against Leaf with prejudice.
Legal translation: The VALIANT/CRUSADE suit is dead!
Now, who won?
The dismissal documents mention a September 4 settlement agreement that looks to be confidential, so, we’ll likely never know for sure. But, a pretty good way to guess at who won is to look at product on the market.
If I had to guess, I wouldn't be shocked if we've seen the last of Leaf's Valiant line.
I wonder if in the settlement documents Panini thanked Leaf for reinvigorating the Crusade brand? Would Crusade have been brought back without Valiant?
Now, for my full prediction to be correct, the three trademark oppositions need to be dismissed by September 21. As of today, they are still pending, but I think that is OK. There is still over two weeks left.
UPDATE (September 10): Today, Leaf withdrew its oppositions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against Panini's PRIZM and LIMITED trademark applications.
Legal translation: Leaf is no longer opposing Panini’s PRIZM and LIMITED trademark applications.
This means three of the four battles between Leaf and Panini are over.
Just one more to go: Panini's chance to oppose Leaf's LEAF LIMITED mark is technically still pending. I imagine this will wrap up soon too with Leaf abandoning the LEAF LIMITED mark. And once that happens, there will be peace across the trading card world -- almost.
There is still one more opposition hanging out there against Panini’s LIMITED application, this one filed by Topps. That is still pending. So let’s just say, there’s a lot more peace out there.
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.
2012 Rookies & Stars Lamar Miller Crusade 4 Color Jumbo Patch # 49
2013 Panini Crusade #9 Robert Griffin III
2013 Panini Crusade #10 Tom Brady
Peyton Manning Panini Crusade Red & Gold 2013 #68 99