Another week, another lawsuit in the trading card manufacturing business. This time Topps is taking Leaf to court over use of Topps cards in its latest promotional efforts.
The issue in question are advertisements for 2011 Leaf Beat of Baseball. The product offers two encapsulated cards in each pack. One is a creation of Leaf featuring a cut signature card. The other card is a graded card that may have been produced by any number of manufacturers over the years – popular cards such as a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, etc. These cards are offered as buybacks.
The problem comes into play when Leaf showcased some of the Topps cards in its sell sheets for the product, which retails for more than $200 per pack. Topps claims Leaf does not have the right to picture old Topps cards, nor the picture of the players it has under exclusive contracts. According to court records, Topps says the sell sheet is "a blatant attempt at capitalizing on Topps' goodwill and intellectual property to advertise and promote Leaf's product."
The sell sheet pictures 18 photos of cards, 11 of which were Topps cards.