Upper Deck, the licensed U.S. manufacturer of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, has taken the first of several legal steps to protect its customers and partners from illegal counterfeiters by suing approximately 50 individuals and companies for marketing and distributing counterfeit starter decks, booster packs, and individual cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG. The lawsuit includes defendants from New York, Miami, Dallas, San Francisco, and Seattle. Upper Deck is seeking an injunction to prevent future sales as well as damages, including compensatory and punitive damages against all defendants.
This lawsuit represents the first step in what Upper Deck characterizes as 'an aggressive and unyielding offensive' against companies and individuals in any location, domestic or foreign, who advertise, manufacture or sell counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. Upper Deck plans on taking whatever additional actions are necessary, including pursuing legal action across many countries to ensure that the counterfeit product is removed from all markets. Upper Deck has released the names of some of the first group of defendants named in the suit including Fry's Electronics, Inc., Boingofans Auctions, Gulf Atlantic Vending, Creative Vending, Great Wall Company, Double Lucky Corp., and Jay's Anime, LLC. Upper Deck plans on naming a significant number of additional companies and individuals as defendants in the coming days.
A spokesperson for Upper Deck told ICv2 that the counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were close facsimiles of the original cards. The company urges retailers to purchase stock only from Upper Deck or its authorized distributors. The counterfeiting of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards does indicate that the CCG remains a hot item, but if not stopped, it could seriously undermine the top collectible card game in the U.S.