Law of Cards: Beckett Beats Miller Cards by Default

Law of Cards: Beckett Beats Miller Cards by Default

Two weeks ago, the Beckett v. Miller Cards lawsuit ended because Miller Cards never showed up.

Legal translation: The easiest way to lose a lawsuit is by not participating. Since Miller Cards never showed up, it lost.

What did Beckett win? Well, the court ordered Miller Cards 1) to pay Beckett the sum of $87,912 in damages, $12,000 in attorney’s fees and $721 in costs, 2) to stop using Beckett’s Copyrighted Works in any way, 3) to remove any and all data relating to Beckett’s Copyrighted Works from its websites or other publications belonging to Miller and 4) to destroy all materials directly or indirectly related to Beckett’s Copyrighted Works.

Since this is a default judgment against a small company that did not even bother to defend itself, it'll likely be difficult for Beckett to collect all (or any) of the money award. Sure, it looks nice to have a $100,000 victory but, a judgment with no hope of collection is, for all intents and purposes, worthless.

I'd hazard the paper the order is printed on is worth more than the money award within the order itself.

Legal commentary: Maybe Beckett's grading service should grade it? That might make it more valuable.

All joking aside, Beckett's motivation in bringing this lawsuit was not to make money, but to stop the unauthorized distribution of its copyrighted works. In this regard, this is a good win for Beckett that it'll likely tout in the still ongoing Custom Plush and COMC cases.

Legal commentary: These cases touch on similar issues, so expect Beckett to mention this win often in the hopes of legitimizing its copyrighted works/trade secrets. The reasoning: if one court ruled Beckett's works were protectable, others should too, right?

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, Simmons Hanly Conroy 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 Simmons Hanly Conroy. 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 has litigated complex and intellectual property actions for over 18 years. 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 card collector. He's also the author of the novel Gastric Bypass, available for purchase at Amazon. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

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