Tag Archives: sports law

NFL News: Leaf vs. Luck

Two days before receiving the honor of becoming the number 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck has been served with a lawsuit from Leaf Trading Card Company.

Leaf Trading Cards filed suit claiming that it has the right to sell trading cards with Andrew Luck’s image from a photo taken in the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.  The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is a high school all star football game that is usually played in January.

Leaf Trading Cards claims that it has been selling these cards since 2010.  Leaf also contends that both common law and licensing rights allow it to sell the cards.  Luck’s attorneys disagreed and sent Leaf Trading Cards a cease and desist letter on April 13.  Leaf Trading Cards responded by filing its lawsuit.  This lawsuit is not a case for damages.  Rather, Leaf Trading Cards is seeking a declaratory judgment from the Texas courts.  A declaratory judgment is an attempt by a party to receive a ruling from a court defining that parties’ rights and obligations.   Unless the court finds flaws in the licensing agreement, this should be an easy victory for Leaf Trading Cards.







Giving credit where credit is due, I have to thank “the Shutdown Corner” and Yahoo sports for providing the following quote regarding the story “If anything, I think Andrew Luck should sue them for putting his name in the same sentence as “Leaf” so close to the NFL draft.”  See “Andrew Luck is Being Sued.”  This makes me wonder if I am the only one who did not think Ryan Leaf after hearing the name Leaf Trading Cards.

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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Tim Tebow’s Move to New York Leads to Legal Dispute Between Nike and Reebok








A couple of weeks ago, Peyton Manning accepted an offer to become the starting quarterback with the Denver Broncos.  For a few days, everyone speculated as to whether the Broncos would trade the popular Tim Tebow and keep him as a back up.   Now, we know that Tim Tebow will play for the New York Jets.  Many wonder whether Tebow will challenge incumbent Mark Sanchez for the starting job as the Jets quarterback.

Few realize that a different battle erupted last week as a result of the Tebow trade.  Sports apparel giant, Nike, has taken one of its major competitors, Reebok, to court over Tebow jerseys.  After Tebow became a Jet, Reebok started producing Tebow jerseys.  This would not seem to be a big deal to the casual observer.

The problem lies in the fact that the Reebok contract with the NFL was due to expire on March 30, 2012. (News report indicated that the agreement expired March 30.  Nike, however alleges that the Reebok’s agreement with the NFL expired March 1).

Although a couple days remained on the Reebok contract, on March 28, U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel granted a temporary injunction in favor of Nike.  The effect of the injunction blocked Reebok “from manufacturing, selling or otherwise marketing New York Jets-related apparel with the name Tebow on it.”  In the lawsuit, Nike argued, among other things, that it owns the rights to Tebow’s name.

Further litigation in this case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Nike Inc. v. Reebok International Ltd., Case No. 12-cv-2275.  A copy of the Nike Complaint can be found on Scribd at this link:

I wonder if these jerseys would have any value a few years from now since Reebok sold a small handful over the last couple of weeks.


Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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