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Law of Cards: Stop the Music! Topps and Panini Heavy Metal Battle Ends

Law of Cards: Stop the Music! Topps and Panini Heavy Metal Battle Ends

As previously reported, on May 21, Topps filed an opposition with the Trademark Office to Panini's Chromium trademark applications. Topps did this because it believed Panini's Chromium trademarks encroached on its Chrome trademarks.

Now, for some reason there has been a competition throughout 2012 between the trading card industry to see whose lawsuits can last the shortest amount of time. Following this trend, on June 27, Topps and Panini requested an extension of time because they were in settlement discussions.

This prompted me to opine the case would be over soon. In fact, I stated, "Heck, I doubt it'll make it to August, 2012."

Now, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong. The case didn't settle until today, August 17 -- 18 days later than predicted.

Ego translation: I'm going to file this one between "horseshoes" and "hand grenades." That's pretty darn close.

Yes, yet another 2012 trading card lawsuit bites the dust. And this one lasted just under three months.

What's this settlement mean? Well, the joint stipulation explains that Panini will withdraw both of its Chromium applications (without prejudice) from the Trademark Office, and Topps will withdraw its oppositions.

Legal translation: The Chromium applications are dead. Topps wins!

To be fair, Panini's withdrawal of its applications is "without prejudice," so it could file them again. But really, why would it? Topps already opposed them once. If Panini files again, it'll be back at the same point.

So congratulations to Topps on flouting your trademark rights, and doing so rather efficiently. However, you don't get the 2012 record for quickest case. That's still held by the Leaf v. Luck lawsuit that lasted just a month and a week.

Better luck next time Topps.

Get it? Luck?

Ego translation:Jeez, that's bad.

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 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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