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THE PINNACLE OF SUCCESS: JUDGE CARES ONLY WHAT KIDS THINK
Published May 15, 1998
U.S. District Court Judge John Martin ruled that Pacific Trading Cards Inc. can "continue distributing cards" featuring MLB players in uniform, "over the objection of baseball-club owners," according to Frances McMorris of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Martin said in his ruling that a child is "no doubt, interested in obtaining cards depicting his or her favorite players, and probably cares little or nothing about whether the owner of the team has sanctioned the distribution of the card." MLBP had sued Pacific, seeking to block distribution of the cards "because they allegedly violated the club owners' trademark rights." Pacific, which had a licensing agreement with MLBP until last year, said it isn't in violation because "it isn't using the owners' pictures of the players and isn't marketing the cards as officially owner-endorsed." Pacific now has a licensing deal with the MLBPA. McMorris reports that Judge Martin "wasn't impressed" with the owners' survey of 228 people in 12 shopping malls last week "which found that 34% of those interviewed believed that Pacific had the owners' okay." An attorney for MLB owners said they intended to appeal the decision (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/15).