The legal battle between WWE and Panini over their trading card license has hit a new level, with WWE filing an injunction against the company. As previously reported, WWE terminated their contract with Panini for licensed trading cards over breach of contract and filed a request for a temporary restraining order to compel them to stop selling their cards, though that request was denied. Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reports that WWE filed the injunction against Panini for the same reason. Panini is suing in an attempt to retain their contract, which runs until December 31st, 2025.
WWE’s filing alleges that Panini told WWE last year that they were planning to merge with Fanatics, though that deal fell apart in the spring of this year. Panini has over 35 employees in April resign in April, many of whom worked on the WWE deal. The filing states the new employees assigned to work on the WWE license were “considerably less experienced.”
The filing states that Panini ran behind on a number of things including inventory, providing WWE with purchase orders, and responding to other routine requests. WWE included declarations and employee emails to support the allegations. The company says it found in August that Panini had failed to uphold its obligations under the contract in failing to make prototypes or get new products out for sale such as trading card games or digital trading cards. It then terminated its deal on August 25th.
WWE claims this should force Panini to stop sales of WWE produts and either return or destroy all inventory, which has not happened. Panini had argued that WWE did not have any issue with their performance before now, and WWE’s filing counters that their contract didn’t require WWE to do so. They are arguing that Panini’s continued use of WWE IP will cause irreparable harm to WWE.
WWE yesterday, as expected, filed for an injunction against Panini in an effort to get them to stop selling WWE trading cards.
Background: WWE is trying to end its deal with Panini, likely so it WWE can license the rights to Fanatics. WWE tried to get a temporary restraining… pic.twitter.com/mkBHNPEmaJ
— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) October 13, 2023