Headline Intellectual Property Sports Law

Upper Deck Sued For Using Karim Abdul-Jabbar’s Likeness Without His Permission

When a trading card company uses a professional athlete’s picture on one of its cards, it needs to first have permission from the athlete before printing the cards and selling them to the public for profit.  Karim Abdul-Jabbar is ready to put up a fight against the Upper Deck Inc. after the company released cards bearing Abdul-Jabbar’s likeness in its recent “Greats of the Game” card series.

Abdul-Jabbar claims that he never gave permission for Upper Deck to use 6 photos of him, his name, or his signature in conjunction with the new card series.  He is currently suing Upper Deck, and he says that he rejected Upper Deck’s requests for his permission to use his likeness in the past.  In the lawsuit, Abdul-Jabbar accuses Upper Deck of unjust enrichment and violating unfair competition laws.