Monday, September 21, 2009

Very Ambiguous Language In Donruss/MLB Settlement Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Unlike many legal settlements you read about, terms of condition were disclosed in the legal suit filed earlier this year against Donruss by MLB and MLB Properties for trademark infringement. The settlement "prohibits former Donruss executive Ann Powell from manufacturing . . . . any items depicting Major or Minor League players in uniform or with MLB trademarks."

Why is this ambiguous? Well for starters the suit was against Donruss as a company not Ann Powell as a person. Secondly, as a "former" employee why would she even be cited in the settlement? Third, since the time of the lawsuit, Donruss was purchased by Panini. When a company is bought that includes all of that company's assets AND liabilities, of which a pending or active lawsuit would be considered. So, again was the settlement with Ann Powell or Panini?

It appears to me the settlement has left more questions than answers.

A copy of the lawsuit and all court filings can be found here.

You can read the original story at


Steve Gierman said...

Very odd. It should be interesting to see the ramifications of this.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

Another reason Twitter rocks. Answers to the questions

From @SportsCardFile on the lawsuit and settlement

@VOTC - Ann was the owner of Donruss-Playoff, L.P. when the infractions occured.
Panini did not want any part of the mess that Ann had created 2005-2008.

Panini only purchased the assets, i.e. intellectual property(brand names) and the lease for the building. Ann was on the the hook for the liabilities and the debt incurred by the BibleQuest project and the MLBP lawsuit.

Rob- AKA "VOTC" said...

More from @SportsCardFile

Part of the Panini deal was that Ann would clear all of the debt and liabilities with the Panini payment and they would not.

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