WWE cancelled massive deal with Panini, but there is more to that story. Now, it appears that things might play out in court from this point on.
Wrestlenomics reports that, on Wednesday, two new court filings emerged, one involving Panini vs. WWE, and the other being WWE vs. Panini. The popular trading card company, Panini, held the license for WWE trading cards, although this arrangement changed last month. They are filing lawsuits on each other over this situation, and now they will battle it out in court.
WWE initiated its case, potentially the injunction alluded to in Darren Rovell’s tweet, in an effort to halt Panini’s ongoing sale of WWE products. This case revolves around a motion to permit the filing of its case under seal.
Simultaneously, Panini lodged its complaint today in a federal court within the Southern District of New York. This complaint outlines Panini’s lawsuit against WWE for the termination of their contractual agreement.
On March 14th, 2022, WWE and Panini entered into an agreement to create trading cards and stickers using WWE’s intellectual property. Panini asserts that it fulfilled its obligations as stipulated in the contract. However, on August 28th, 2023, Panini received a letter from WWE dated August 25th, announcing the termination of the deal, catching Panini off guard.
Panini contends that WWE’s termination constitutes a breach of the contract and seeks a declaration of the invalidity of this termination. The agreement’s inception traces back to a term sheet on October 1st, 2021, leading to a four-year contract established on March 14th, 2022, retroactively commencing on January 1st, 2022, and extending through 2025.
In April 2022, Panini introduced the WWE Prizm trading card set, followed by stickers the following month. These offerings included both digital and physical trading cards and were employed in games like Box Wars or Pack Wars at conventions.
Panini asserts that WWE never raised any concerns about its performance, accepted royalty payments, and even commended Panini for substantially increasing their business. However, WWE purportedly terminated the contract abruptly, citing a provision allowing WWE to terminate if Panini failed to engage in good-faith efforts to create WWE physical trading card games and digital trading cards.
WWE also demanded immediate payment of $5,625,000, representing the minimum royalties due under the contract. Panini argues that the window for termination under this provision was between April 1st and June 1st, 2022, a timeframe that has since passed.
Consequently, Panini seeks several declarations: that it did not breach the contract, that WWE’s termination is null and void, that the contract remains in force, and that it is not obligated to pay the $5,625,000 that WWE claims as immediately due.
We will have to see how this situation pans out. Obviously, there is a lot to unpack, and massive lawsuits like this can last a very, very long time as well.
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September 21, 2023 2:55 pm