Hey, are you excited about the upcoming Disney Lorcana collectible card game, set to release in August, which gives you the chance to "Wield magic inks and the power of Lorcana to assemble your team of Disney characters" in white-knuckle card-based duels? Well maybe cool your jets for a second, because a company called Upper Deck is taking its maker to court.
Lorcana is a licenced Disney product being made by Ravensburger, which has also made products based around titanic franchises like Harry Potter and Minecraft, but Upper Deck is accusing Ravensburger of "stealing and copying Upper Deck’s original game" which it then "repackaged and marketed as Lorcana".
Specifically, Upper Deck reckons that Ryan Miller—one of its former designers who now works at Ravensburger—purloined intellectual property from Rush of Ikorr, a card game he worked on at Upper Deck, and put it straight into Disney Lorcana, giving Disney's game a headstart and letting it beat Ikorr to market with its own ideas.
Upper Deck says that "After over a year of developing Rush of Ikorr alongside Upper Deck, Miller terminated his contract with Upper Deck and, either before termination or just after, began working for Defendant Ravensburger," at which point the company alleges he ported over the ideas he developed for Upper Deck. The company even says that Ravensburger was in on the heist, and that Miller was "aided and encouraged by Ravensburger, who now seeks to profit from the stolen intellectual property".
I've reached out to both Ravensburger and Upper Deck about this, and I'll update this piece if I hear back.
Upper Deck is really throwing down the gauntlet. In its court filing, it's asking for payment of damages, injunctive relief to prevent Disney Lorcana's release, restitution of money it paid Miller, and "punitive damages in an amount appropriate to punish Miller and Ravensburger and deter others from engaging in similar misconduct".
Ravensburger hasn't said much about the situation so far. In a statement to ComicBook, a spokesperson for the company said only that "Ravensburger has not been served with a complaint and thus cannot speculate on potential legal matters. We at Ravensburger stand behind the integrity of our team and the originality of our products". I'm no expert, but that sounds to me like a company still trying to figure out how it's going to handle a legal bombshell that just went off in its backyard.