Upper Deck Alleges Copyright Infringement with Disney Lorcana Lawsuit After Ravensburger’s Motion to Dismiss

After Ravensburger filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit Upper Deck filed against them regarding Disney Lorcana, Upper Deck amended their complaint to include multiple changes, including claims of copyright infringement.

Disney Lorcana logo with Elsa, Mickey, and Maleficent
Source: Disney Lorcana

Upper Deck is a private company primarily known for producing trading cards. The company is filing a suit against Ravensburger and Ryan Miller, former Upper Deck contractor and current Ravensburger Lorcana designer, “for stealing and copying Upper Deck’s original game which Ravensburger repackaged and marketed as ‘Lorcana.’”

Miller worked for Upper Deck on Rush of Ikorr, a game that remains in development. He ultimately left Upper Deck to work with Ravensburger. Upper Deck stated in their original filing that Ravensburger “acted in concert with Miller during much of the time relevant to this Complaint, resulting in a breach of Miller’s California contracts.”

Attorney Paul Lesko has been chronicling the lawsuit and noted the major changes Upper Deck made to their complaint this week. The changes address several of Ravensburger and Miller’s points in their motion to dismiss, including a claim of lack of jurisdiction — i.e. that the suit shouldn’t go forward in California because Ravensburger’s North American division and Miller are based in Washington.

Upper Deck has added several paragraphs detailing Ravensburger and Miller’s California contacts to prove the jurisdiction is correct. Upper Deck references multiple trips Miller made to California regarding Rush of Ikorr or Disney Lorcana. They also cite Disney being a California company and the game being announced at a California trade show.

Upper Deck also changed the complaint from focusing on “ideas,” which cannot technically be covered by copyright. This sentence:

“The features in Lorcana were in fact novel and proprietary to Rush of lkorr and their replication into Lorcana can only be the product of Miller’s theft of Upper Deck’s intellectual property and other proprietary concepts.”

Has become this sentence, specifying “several creative, expressive features”:

“Several creative, expressive features in Lorcana were novel and proprietary to Rush of Ikorr and their replication into Lorcana can only be the product of Miller’s theft.”

Upper Deck responded to Ravensburger and Miller’s claim that the designer was not a “fiduciary” because he was an independent consultant, stating he was lead designer for the game.

Most notable is that Upper Deck has added copyright infringement claims. As Lesko points out, copyright claims cannot be brought in state court, where Upper Deck originally filed the lawsuit. But Ravensburger and Miller moved the case to federal court, which allowed Upper Deck to add copyright infringement to their complaint.

Upper Deck compared the copyrights of Rush of Ikorr and Disney Lorcana in charts to show their similarities.

Lesko predicts Ravensburger and Miller will file another motion to dismiss with a similar “waste of time” jurisdiction argument, He also doesn’t believe Upper Deck will file a motion for preliminary injunction, which would delay the Disney Lorcana release. For now, it is still scheduled for release at Gen Con and then at specialty stores on August 18.

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