The upcoming launch of Disney Lorcana, a new Trading Card Game (TCG) set in a magical Disney universe, may be threatened by a major lawsuit brought by The Upper Deck Company against publisher Ravensburger.
As surfaced by Polygon, Upper Deck has alleged Ravensburger poached former employee and Lorcana co-designer Ryan Miller, and used his knowledge of Upper Deck’s Rush of Ikorr to create a game that is ‘nearly identical’. To remedy the situation, Upper Deck has called for an injunction to halt the release of Disney Lorcana, which is currently set for August 2023.
‘Throughout Miller’s time as lead game designer of Rush of Ikorr Miller had direct access to Upper Deck’s confidential, proprietary information, including, without limitation, Rush of Ikorr draft rules, concepts, components, designs, marketing strategies, and plans for implementation,’ the company alleged.
‘On information and belief, Miller maintained access to these things even after terminating his relationship with Upper Deck and used, referenced, and/or otherwise relied on them to create Lorcana for Ravensburger.’
Upper Deck has alleged that Ravensburger ‘induced and intended for Miller to breach his obligations so that it could capitalise on Miller’s knowledge of the elements of the Rush of Ikorr game so he could make a near-identical game for it.’
The lawsuit identifies complaints for: breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, inducing breach of a written contract, negligent interference with prospective economic relations, constructive trust, conversion, and unfair business practices. A jury trial is demanded to address these allegations.
‘We invested significant time and resources to develop a new and novel trading card game,’ Jason Masherah, Upper Deck president, told Polygon of the lawsuit.
‘Our current leadership values the importance of protecting intellectual property of both Upper Deck and its licensors. We encourage competition in the industry but also strongly believe in playing by the rules to ensure the gaming community benefits from the different creative choices by each manufacturer.’
The case is expected to be heard in the Superior Court of the State of California should it proceed further.