Detroit Lions Agent Sues Over Player’s Autograph Session

Agent Jason Bernstein, of Clarity Sports International, is suing the owner of a sports memorabilia operation, arguing that an autograph session they arranged with Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay broke an exclusive marketing deal.

Gerry Ochs, owner of Redland Sports, is accused of arranging the autograph session through a rival agent, Todd France of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and is alleged to have done so to lure Golladay into signing a new representation deal with CAA. The complaint states that Ochs arranged the event …

Continue Reading

Sport Memorabilia Collector Faces Up to 20 Years for Memorabilia Fraud, Including Fake Heisman

An Arkansas sports memorabilia collector pled guilty in Chicago’s federal court to defrauding investors by selling fake and doctored items, even using a fake Heisman Trophy as collateral for a $100,000 loan.

As background, John Rogers sold fake sports memorabilia to his customers and secured loans by offering fake and inauthentic items as collateral. Rogers’ plea deal stated that he either “created the items himself or altered them to make them appear authentic.” Rogers admitted to defrauding the investors in his companies and the …

Continue Reading

Insurers Refute Defense Obligations in Sports Memorabilia IP Claims

On January 29, 2015, insurers West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co., told a Wisconsin federal court that they are not liable to defend sports memorabilia retailers, Waukesha Sportscards and AW Artworks LLC, in a copyright suit alleging that the retailers sold merchandise featuring unlicensed photographs. The insurers argued that their policies cover copyright in advertisement claims but do not extend to the copyright infringement issues addressed in the action.

The infringement suit against the retailers was initially filed back in June …

Continue Reading

What’s Next, Civil Litigation Against Sports Memorabilia Dealers for Improper Dealings with College-Athletes?

Your favorite college football team loses its star quarterback or running back due to a suspension for NCAA violations related to compensation received from a sports memorabilia dealer for autographing multiple items that the dealer sells.  The college suffers damage in the form of potential lost ticket sales, merchandising, bowl revenue, and negative publicity.  Does the university have any recourse against the dealer who stands outside the reach of NCAA oversight but who profits from the offending transactions?

NCAA Bylaw prohibits student-athletes from accepting …

Continue Reading