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Konami Accuses Upper Deck of Counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards

The battle is growing bigger and more heated between Konami and Upper Deck over the Yu-Gi-Oh! distribution deal. In the latest development, Konami is accusing Upper Deck of selling counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh cards – something UD is calling "baseless."

Konami Digital Entertainment and Konami Corp. filed an amendment Dec. 11 to their ongoing copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit filed in October against Vintage Sports Cards. The amendment added Upper Deck Entertainment to the list of defendants in the suit, alleging that counterfeit rare cards included in repackaged Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG cards sold by Vintage had been supplied by Upper Deck.

Upper Deck released a statement Jan. 26 calling the allegations “baseless” and “absurd,” citing Upper Deck’s efforts to combat counterfeiting over the last six years. According to the statement, “Upper Deck has spent millions of dollars fighting against Yu-Gi-Oh! counterfeits … To think that Upper Deck would be involved in YGO counterfeit activity is therefore not only absurd, it simply does not make sense.”

Konami’s amended complaint was filed the same day the company publicly announced it was terminating its distribution agreement with Upper Deck for the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG — and the day after Upper Deck had filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Konami because of the termination.

In late December, a California court ruled against Konami’s request for a temporary restraining order to prevent Upper Deck from selling Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG products in the U.S. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 11 on another motion from Konami for a preliminary injunction against Upper Deck that would prevent Upper Deck from selling Yu-Gi-Oh! products or using any text or art from Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG in its advertising or on its Web sites.

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