January 17, 2020
Panini America, Inc. (Panini), a licensed sports and entertainment collectibles company, has filed its fourth lawsuit in the last six months with respect to its “Rated Rookie” trademark. All of these suits, at least in part, focus on sports cards depicting New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson.
In its most recent lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Panini alleges that Rocco Tenaglia, of Pennsylvania, advertised and sold homemade sports cards, featuring the “Rated Rookie” mark, without Panini’s consent.
The Dallas-based company has accused Tenaglia of federal trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices, unjust enrichment, common law unfair competition and injury to Panini’s business reputation. Panini claims that Tenaglia continues to sell and market the trading cards, despite being sent written notice by the company demanding that he stop.
Authors: Sam Galway and Matt McDonald