Panini Sues Leaf Over Kevin Durant Autographs - Sports Collectors Digest

Panini Sues Leaf Over Kevin Durant Autographs

Leaf founder Brian Gray apparently has 750 Kevin Durant signed stickers, and Panini isn't happy about it.

Panini America, who has an exclusive licensing agreement with Kevin Durant, is suing Leaf and its founder Brian Gray over Durant-signed stickers.

Panini, which is alleging tortious interference with contract, claims Leaf and Gray are trying to sell 750 stickers with Durant's autograph. Panini says it signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Durant in Dec. 2011, granting it the exclusive use of his name, likeness, nicknames and signatures.

"Success in the trading card industry is based, in large measure, on reputation as well as athletes that you have 'exclusive' agreements with," the complaint states. "As a result of these factors, Panini takes its reputation very seriously. Additionally, it has expended significant time and money to have 'exclusive agreements' with a number of athletes in the NFL, NHL and NBA."

According to court papers, Gray had approached employees of Panini to buy the stickers "to keep them off the market." Gray has alledged to also have said that if the stickers weren't bought, he would release them to the market for free.

Panini seeks an injunction, delivery of the stickers, an accounting, and exemplary damages.

Auction of the Week


Collect Auctions Summer Auction

Collect Auctions bidding ends August 6 and bidders can view each lot on our website at There are more than 1,000 lots of vintage sports cards and sets; what we believe is the strongest unopened lineup any auction house has ever offered. Bidding ends Thursday, August 6 at 9:00 p.m. CST (10:00 EST).