logo
ISA Grading Advertisement

Panini America Reaches $25 Million Settlement in Wild Card Football Copyright Case

* We may earn a commission from purchases made through our affiliate links.

61AbaShqbPL._UF1000,1000_QL80_.jpg

In a significant legal development, Panini America has agreed to pay a substantial $25 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought against them by bankruptcy creditors linked to the creators of Wild Card Football trading cards. The case, which had been looming since February of the previous year, was set for trial in September.

The lawsuit was initiated by Hanlin Bavely, the Chapter 7 trustee for AAA Sports, Inc., the original producer of Wild Card products. The allegation centered around copyright violations that Panini allegedly committed against the company's designs from the 1990s, particularly the "Stat Smashers" insert card designs from 1992 and 1993.

Despite the challenges Wild Card Football faced in the 1990s due to disputes involving star players, NFLPA, and NFL Properties, it eventually filed for bankruptcy in February 1994. However, its copyrights remained preserved throughout.

Court records presented during the legal proceedings showcased side-by-side comparisons of AAA Sports' original cards and Panini's recent creations, spanning nearly three decades. The contention was that Panini replicated AAA Sports' "Stat Smashers" designs in their 2020 and 2021 Certified Football cards, as well as in digital formats.

The settlement amount, a significant $25 million, is aimed at ensuring full recovery of claims for the estate's creditors, encompassing nearly 30 years of accrued interest. The decision to settle was influenced by the substantial expenses and preparation tied to a potential trial.

This legal resolution comes amid a challenging year for Panini, marked by a break-in at their Dallas office, the departure of a significant number of employees to Fanatics, the NFLPA's announcement of ending its partnership with Panini, and a series of legal disputes with Fanatics.

However, the settlement is not yet finalized; it still requires approval from a Texas bankruptcy judge, the jurisdiction where the case was filed. This development underscores the intricacies of legal battles involving intellectual property in the ever-evolving landscape of the trading card industry.

Share:

PWCC Auction Advertisement

1 Comments

Related

Sports Card News

National Trading Card Day Celebrated with Enthusiasm at Topps Hobby Rip Night Events Nationwide


  • bionic Avatar
  • by bionic
  • February 26, 2024, 2:04 am

National Trading Card Day Celebrated with Enthusiasm at Topps Hobby Rip Night Events Nationwide


Collectors and sports enthusiasts gathered at over 400 hobby shops across the U.S. to celebrate National Trading Card Day with Topps Hobby Rip Night, featuring the release of Topps Series 1 and appearances by sports icons like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Kevin...

Read More

Hidden Treasure: Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner Autographed Baseball Discovered After 60 Years


  • bionic Avatar
  • by bionic
  • February 28, 2024, 1:57 am

Hidden Treasure: Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner Autographed Baseball Discovered After 60 Years


A baseball autographed by legends Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner, forgotten in a drawer for six decades in a San Pedro home, is now a highlight of Lelands' 2024 Winter Classic Auction, captivating collectors with its rich history and remarkable journey from...

Read More

Lelands 2024 Winter Classic Auction Unveils a Diverse Collection of Sports Memorabilia


  • bionic Avatar
  • by bionic
  • February 26, 2024, 1:50 am

Lelands 2024 Winter Classic Auction Unveils a Diverse Collection of Sports Memorabilia


The Lelands 2024 Winter Classic Auction is now open, featuring an impressive array of sports memorabilia including a rare Michael Jordan Metal Universe Championship Precious Metal Gems card, game-worn jerseys by Roberto Clemente and Ted Williams, and ot...

Read More