WWE finds itself in another lawsuit battle.
Brandon Thurston from WrestleNomics reports that WWE recently filed an injunction against Panini to stop the sale of WWE trading cards. This legal move is part of the company’s ongoing effort to terminate its contract with Panini, with the possible intention of licensing its rights to Fanatics. Initially, WWE attempted to secure a temporary restraining order to prevent Panini from marketing WWE merchandise. However, this request was denied by a judge, leading Panini to counter by suing WWE to uphold their existing contract, which is set to expire on December 31, 2025.
In their recent filing, WWE presents several key arguments:
Panini had informed WWE in 2022 of a potential merger with Fanatics, but this merger ultimately collapsed in the spring of 2023. Subsequently, Panini experienced a significant loss of key personnel and customers. More than 35 Panini employees, including those responsible for the WWE relationship, resigned in April 2023. New Panini employees assigned to work with WWE had notably less experience.
WWE contends that Panini failed to meet its contractual obligations, citing delays in inventory management, purchase orders, and responses to routine requests from WWE. To support these claims, WWE provides declarations and emails from its employees.
In August, WWE discovered that Panini had not fulfilled its contractual duties, as the company had not produced prototypes or introduced new products for sale. Panini had also failed to develop trading card games or digital trading cards.
In response to Panini’s alleged breach of contract, WWE claims that it was well within its rights to terminate the contract on August 25, which it did. WWE believes this termination should compel Panini to cease the sale of WWE products and either return or destroy their existing inventory, a step that Panini has not taken.
WWE also refutes Panini’s attempt to shift blame by arguing that the contract did not require WWE to lodge complaints about Panini’s performance.
Lastly, WWE argues that Panini’s continued use of WWE intellectual property inflicts irreparable harm on WWE, citing established case law to substantiate its claim.
Wrestling Headlines will keep you updated on this story. Stay tuned.