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Volume 24 No. 156

Law Politics

          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).