Monday, March 2, 2009

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. Wins Preliminary Injunction Against The Upper Deck Company

Ruling Bars Upper Deck and its Agents from Holding Themselves Out as the Authorized Distributor of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME™

El Segundo, CA – (March 2, 2009) – In December 2008, Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. (KDE) was forced to notify its distributor, The Upper Deck Company (Upper Deck), that the parties’ agreement for distribution and marketing of Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME™ (TCG) had terminated. At that time, KDE filed an amended complaint in federal court in Los Angeles, alleging that Upper Deck had distributed counterfeit cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. Upper Deck refused to accept the termination of the parties’ agreement, and issued a press release stating that it was maintaining “business as usual” and “fulfilling orders” for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG products.

In orders issued the afternoon of February 27, the federal court granted KDE’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Upper Deck, prohibiting Upper Deck from using Konami’s trademarks and from claiming that Upper Deck is an authorized distributor of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. The Court found that KDE made a “clear showing” that it is likely to prevail on its claims that Upper Deck, while acting as the authorized distributor of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, distributed counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG cards.

The ruling re-affirms that KDE is the sole authorized distributor for Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG in North America, and represents a significant victory for Konami, its partners, and the public.

“This is a great victory for Duelists, distributors and our hobby and retail partners and protects the integrity of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME for future generations,” commented Kazumi Kitaue, Chairman and CEO of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.

Under the terms of the Court’s ruling, Upper Deck and all persons acting in concert with Upper Deck will be prohibited from using Konami’s trademarks and the copyrighted artwork from Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, from holding itself out as “an authorized distributor or rights holder to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG,” from “referring to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG as one of Upper Deck’s brands,” and from distributing unsold Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG products obtained from Konami during the term of the parties’ distribution agreement.

KDE is very excited about the future of Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG and remains fully committed to marketing and promoting Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, and to developing innovative Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG products for Duelists to enjoy.


From Konami Press Release

For previous news about this case please refer to this Legal Times: Old and New, Upper Deck Konami and YuGiOh

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