So we learned from Sports Card Report that UD and Konami have settled their damages trail, and Upper Deck needs to pay it's first settlement check by Friday. It pays it's final check to Konami on March 31st. How much money are we talking?
Upper Deck illegally reproduced more than 600,000 of Konami's Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. I tried to find examples in the real world to get a handle on the dollar amount Upper Deck might now be on the hook for.
In early 2009 the MLBPA sued Donruss for using MLB logos and colors without a license (sound familiar?). The MLBPA reportedly is seeking triple the profit that Donruss, now Panini, made off the sale of the cards.
Software maker Symantec -think Norton Anti-Virus- has won a litany of counterfeit software judgments ranging form a few hundred thousand to $21 Million.
The ladies love Louis Vuitton, and in 2008 they were granted what is believed to be the highest award of damages in Canada against purveyors of counterfeit goods. $920,000.
Konami reportedly was seeking "hundreds of millions" in civil damages if the case went to trial. That is usually a scare tactic to get the other party, in this case Upper Deck, to settle out of court. My gut, tells me that the payoff has to be in the neighborhood of $5-8 Million. I know that sounds low. And maybe it is indeed too low a number.
Two things though brought me to that range. Upper Deck has reached an agreement to settle the payment from this lawsuit by the end of March. With rumors that UD is already struggling, you can't think they are paying up $15-20 Million in damages so quick. The other issue I took into account was the damages Symantec got in their anti-piracy judgments. They are two totally separate issues, but this Symantec software was mass produced, and was worth a lot more then 600,000 Yu-Gi-Oh cards. The MLBPA vs Donruss case I noted earlier had the MLB looking for 'triple' what Donruss made on the sale of the cards. How much can you make on 600,000 Yu-Gi-Oh cards?
The sleazy nature in which UD went about counterfeiting the Yu-Gi-Oh cards makes the case somewhat unique. Therefore Konami probably has a leg to stand on when trying to squeeze as much out of UD as they can. I'm going to stand by $5-8 Million as a range. We'll see if any news leaks to see if I'm dead wrong.