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Upper Deck Claims Victory in Konami Suit

PSA Collectors Club

Upper Deck says paying damages to Konami was a “favorable outcome” for the company.

Two days after attorneys for both sides agreed to settle on the first day of a damages trial, Upper Deck released a statement regarding the case brought against the company by Konami Digital Images.

The makers of the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game sued Upper Deck over some 600,000 cards the Carlsbad, California company had produced without Konami’s permission.

Upper Deck and one of its subsidiaries had been a distributor for Yu-Gi-Oh!

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Upper Deck’s first payment was due Friday.

Late in the day, Upper Deck issued a news release claiming victory in the case:

Upper Deck is pleased to announce that it has come to a successful resolution with Konami over their year-long dispute regarding Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards. On the eve of trial, the court issued several rulings in Upper Deck’s favor which eliminated and gravely threatened many of Konami’s monetary claims requests. These rulings sent Konami and its attorneys into retreat as Konami’s case was disintegrating. These events, and these events alone, provided the framework for the case to be resolved after opening statements were presented to the jury.

“Upper Deck is extremely pleased with the cooperative resolution with Konami. Sometimes it simply takes a courtroom, the presence of a jury, and the start of a trial for a party like Konami to finally recognize that it will be unable to live up to its pre-trial rhetoric,” said Richard K. Howell, a partner at Rutan & Tucker in Costa Mesa, California.

Upper Deck had a long history with Yu-Gi-Oh! and is proud to have been such a vital part of the brands success in North America and Europe over the past six years. By creating a top notch organized play program and spending tens of millions of dollars on marketing and television broadcast, Upper Deck built a solid foundation on which Yu-Gi-Oh! will benefit for years to come.

“Though we are delighted that Konami was finally forced to see the light regarding its claims, there is, of course, a bittersweet side to the ending of this dispute,” added Richard McWilliam, Upper Deck CEO. “During the six years we spent building the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand we formed strong ties to the playing community, and, in the end, they are the ones that suffered most because of this lawsuit. Instead of focusing on the merits of the case, Konami focused its efforts on pursuing exaggerated claims and damages which it could not establish in the courtroom.”