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Upper Deck Authenticated Memorabilia [Brian’s Trademark Watch]

Hey everyone, this is attorney Brian Russ coming at you with another one of my Brian’s trademark watch videos. The purpose of this video is to really talk a lot about sports cards and how the sports card industry protects itself, through use of trademarks. And so I saw this one come across my desk. I think it recently filed for opposition or it’s proceeded to the opposition stage by the US patent trademark office. And as you can see in this application, you can see that this is for a design mark. It is meant to protect the design in general. So it protects the words but only to a limited extent. It’s really only protecting the design mark and how it’s laid out. And what I was surprised about with this mark, is that one: upper deck even wanting to trademark it at all. It seems very benign to me. The important part of this mark is the logo, is the upper deck logo. I had a hard time kind of wrapping my head around why they would even want to trademark this when when really the only additional thing they’re trademarking are the stylized words where “authenticated memorabilia” and that little ribbon around it. And then I was surprised they hadn’t already trademarked something like this. And so it was just very odd to me and also the trademark application itself… It only goes to goods and services for animation cells in class 16, which again was surprising because it seemed like, Upper Deck would be much more thorough in the application covering sports cards and sports memorabilia and other things, even in class 16 or related classes. So I was doing some digging, because again, I couldn’t really figure out what was going on. I was trying to think through it. And then what I found interesting is that I found a previous registered trademark for upper deck for almost the exact same thing. So they have this trademark application or registration for Upper Deck Authenticated Memorabilia, and the only difference is the appearance of the logo in the middle of this mark. So you can see the logo is slightly different, how the letters come out and how they have a little bit more stylization. So I find it interesting that again, I kind of kept going back to why are they even doing this and the only thing I can really think of is that what they’re trying to do is add an extra layer of protection for that logo in the event there are counterfeiters infringers who are trying to make you know their money just just ripping off people. Obviously that is where the sports card companies, where a lot of their IP is important is because when you’re faking something, or you’re making a reproduction, you want to make it look as real as possible. With the sports card companies, their IP that they can claim damages for is, their logo and their appearance and their marks, not so much the marks of, the name image likeness of maybe sports character or the other character they’re not able to claim damages for the sports team name and their logo. The sports card companies can only claim damages for their logo, right? They have to say this is our IP that has been unauthorized. Or maybe there’s an unauthorized reproduction of our IP. And so again, I was surprised when looking at this but the more I thought about the more reasonable it seems that this would happen. Because, you know, again, if you are making a counterfeit product, these authenticate marks are key. And so making sure you know upper deck having their authenticated memorabilia slogan or logo on it is key for them to recover damages in the event they find somebody who’s counterfeiting they’re finding somebody who can make reproduction. I feel kind of bad for a deck though, right? Like, there’s not much difference between these. But you know, the way it works is that, you know, if you have a new logo, you need to use a new logo, it has to get, you know, protection. So that’s it for today. If you have any questions or if you want to chat about trademarks, feel free to reach out and we’ll go from there.

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