There has been no settlement in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s lawsuit against the Upper Deck Company over the use of the Hall of Famer’s photo on its 2010 Greats of the Game trading card set. A trial date of December 12 has been set.
Abdul-Jabbar claims Upper Deck didn’t have permission to use his name or likeness in the set and says he’s had to turn down autograph requests from fans seeking to have him sign those cards, causing “harm to Abdul-Jabbar’s reputation among fans,” according to court papers and “has also caused (him) emotional distress because he would prefer to honor his fans’ request for autographs, particularly when those fans have spent their hard-earned money on sports memorabilia featuring (his) image.”
Abdul-Jabbar’s attorney says the 64-year-old 7-footer is entitled to damages. Upper Deck says it doesn’t owe the former Bruin anything for use of action shots from his college career.
Upper Deck executive Richard McWilliam was also named in the lawsuit, but Upper Deck attorneys filed a motion to have that removed. The company says McWilliam didn’t profit from using any of the photos because the company lost money on Greats of the Game.
Upper Deck had a contract with Upper Deck to produce cards featuring him but Abdul-Jabbar’s attorney says that deal expired two years ago and was only for the use of images from his NBA career.
On Thursday, CNBC reported that Upper Deck would call Bill Walton, who played center at UCLA immediately after Abdul-Jabbar, as a defense witness.