Major League Baseball Properties is the marketing appendage of Major League Baseball. Amongst other things, MLBP is responsible for making sure all of MLB’s licenses are enforced and that people play nice in the sand box.
This past Monday, MLB filed suite against trading card company Upper Deck (UD) for using team logos on baseball cards without permission. To hobbyists around the country, this news is mildly surprising, albeit not completely out of left field.
Roughly six-months ago, MLBP and Topps signed an multi-year agreement that provided Topps with the exclusive rights to produce imagery that includes team logos and uniforms. In essence, this gave Topps a monopoly on baseball card manufacturing.
At the time of that deal, Upper Deck made it known that they would continue to produce a full line of MLB baseball cards due to their own deal with the Major League Baseball players association.
Last week, UD released its "Signature Stars" (above) and "Ultimate Collection" line of cards. While you won’t find any nicknames and such, there are at least a handful of cards where you can see partial or complete logos. We’ll see what happens, but with a $2.4 million dollar asking price, UD can’t be feeling good right now.
[via Michael O’Keeffe and NYDN]