Thursday, January 14, 2010

Upper deck ... Hey Hey Hey! Goodbye!

That's the old chant in many a hockey arena when a team is about to get elimintated from the playoffs.

Why reference it? Apparently Upper Deck, those who used to purvey lots of hockey cards as well as games such as Yu-gi-oh and Vs, has apparently been packaging up cards outside of the license with Yu-gi-oh and were selling them out the back door.

Konami sued them good, as you would if you owned the Yu-gi-oh franchise, and Upper Deck tried to counter sue and all that.

Apparently all the judgements are in and the judge has ruled in favour of Konami in every single instance.

Quoting the report from the New York Post we see that a bunch of execs,

Instead, five Upper Deck execs involved in the alleged fakes -- including Chief Executive Richard McWilliams -- have resisted being deposed, citing their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

Upper deck was trying their best to say that they had an approval clause in their letter of intent to Konami, but the Judge, Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank has ruled the following:

For the reasons asserted in Plaintiffs’ Motion papers, the “Approval” clause is not
ambiguous, and applies to advertising, promotional materials, and promotional activity. Exhibit C to the LOI provides illustrative examples, and though not an exhaustive list, reveals that a reasonable interpretation of the ╩║Approval╩║ clause of the LOI would not include reproduction of unauthentic YGO.

They've got a lot of the court documents and other information here. This one is hilarious because it's got Konami's facts and UD trying their best to object to them.

Seriously? I think this is hilarious. UD used to be considered one of the big players in the game industry. They had the rights to Yu-Gi-Oh, which is really a license to print money, and had the only super heroes game that had the rights to both DC and Marvel in their VS game. Only to lose pretty much everything including MLB's licensing.

There have been a lot of grumbling that UD has always had a string of unethical business practices such as reprinting lots of wanted cards for individual executives who were able to use them for personal gain.

[H/T to Duk at Big League Stew]

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