The future number one pick in this year’s NFL Draft has gotten tangled in some pretty inane legal troubles this week. According to many sources, Luck is being “sued” by Leaf Trading Cards over some confusion concerning the use of his image. And he sort of is, but not really.
The issue stems from the 2008 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which Leaf has the right to use images from. Luck’s people, who don’t believe Leaf has the right to profit from the future Colt QB, sent the company a cease-and-desist letter. Leaf not only refused to comply with the order, but they are now taking legal action against Luck instead.
Here’s the card in question:
Most media outlets are saying that Leaf is “suing” Luck, but as Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) pointed out, this is actually a “filing for declaratory judgment,” which isn’t the same as being sued. Basically, Leaf wants the judge to tell Luck they they’re allowed to do whatever they want with their images of the 2008 all-star game. Luck’s people probably would have filed an actual lawsuit against the company if Leaf had not done this first.
However, saying “The number one pick in the draft is getting sued!” is easier to comprehend, so we don’t fault people for going with that angle. And concerning the litigation: as a writer with a lawyer cousin, I am not at all qualified to give an opinion on how the case will turn out. That being said, it looks like Leaf has a pretty good case. And Luck would be wise to agree with the judge’s decision, on the condition that Leaf produce his card without spelling errors on it.