Upper Deck Sues Panini over background image of Michael Jordan bringing exclusive athlete contracts

Upper Deck Sues Panini Over Michael Jordan Background Images On Cards Upper Deck Sues Panini Over Michael Jordan Background Images On Cards January 30, 2020 By Bob D'Angelo Background has come to the forefront in a legal battle between Upper Deck and Panini America. Upper Deck has filed a lawsuit against its trading card rival over images of Michael Jordan that appear in the background of three sets released by Panini. Jordan is not the main focus of two cards featuring Scottie Pippen and another of Dennis Rodman, but Upper Deck claims its exclusive contract with MJ was violated by background images of the Hall of Famer. The lawsuit, The Upper Deck Company v. Panini America, Inc., was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California. It comes on the heels of Panini filing four separate trademark infringement lawsuits against defendants it claimed made homemade Zion Williamson cards that featured Panini’s trademarked “Rated Rookie” logos. Upper Deck’s reasoning for taking legal action in Wednesday’s lawsuit boils down to this: Image is everything, and the company has exclusive rights to produce and markets Jordan’s image on a trading card.