Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

201-896-4100 info@sh-law.com

O’Bannon Likeness Lawsuit Prompts NCAA to Drop EA Sports Partnership

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC|July 22, 2013

O’Bannon Likeness Lawsuit Prompts NCAA to Drop EA Sports Partnership

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced its plans to sever ties with video game maker EA Sports, largely in response to the ongoing likeness lawsuit it is fighting that was started by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon.

The athletic conference is currently embroiled in a lengthy and costly legal battle with O’Bannon and several former players who are suing it and EA for using their likenesses without permission and without compensating them.

Although EA Sports has already paid out roughly $27 million in a class-action suit to resolve the sports law issue, litigation costs for the NCAA continue to mount as it disputes the allegations.

“We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games,” the NCAA said in a statement. “But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.”

Some analysts suggest that although the conference has taken a confident position, its decision to scale its relationships may indicate that it is preparing for the worst-case scenario, according to ESPN.com. Should the NCAA lose its case, it may be required to give players a cut of the billions of dollars it has made from sports broadcasts, athletic gear and equipment, memorabilia, and video games.

Further, the case may set the precedent for future sports law issues involving the use of players’ likenesses.

The NCAA’s current contract with EA Sports is set to expire in June 2014, which will make the last time the game maker can use the conference’s logo and name in its gaming series. As a result, “NCAA Football 2014” will be the final edition of the popular video game series, although EA Sports notes that it plans to continue producing video games under another name.

O’Bannon Likeness Lawsuit Prompts NCAA to Drop EA Sports Partnership

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced its plans to sever ties with video game maker EA Sports, largely in response to the ongoing likeness lawsuit it is fighting that was started by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon.

The athletic conference is currently embroiled in a lengthy and costly legal battle with O’Bannon and several former players who are suing it and EA for using their likenesses without permission and without compensating them.

Although EA Sports has already paid out roughly $27 million in a class-action suit to resolve the sports law issue, litigation costs for the NCAA continue to mount as it disputes the allegations.

“We are confident in our legal position regarding the use of our trademarks in video games,” the NCAA said in a statement. “But given the current business climate and costs of litigation, we determined participating in this game is not in the best interests of the NCAA.”

Some analysts suggest that although the conference has taken a confident position, its decision to scale its relationships may indicate that it is preparing for the worst-case scenario, according to ESPN.com. Should the NCAA lose its case, it may be required to give players a cut of the billions of dollars it has made from sports broadcasts, athletic gear and equipment, memorabilia, and video games.

Further, the case may set the precedent for future sports law issues involving the use of players’ likenesses.

The NCAA’s current contract with EA Sports is set to expire in June 2014, which will make the last time the game maker can use the conference’s logo and name in its gaming series. As a result, “NCAA Football 2014” will be the final edition of the popular video game series, although EA Sports notes that it plans to continue producing video games under another name.

Firm News & Press Releases

No Aspect of the advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court. Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.