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LEAF, INC., MAKER OF 'FRANK THOMAS' BASEBALL CARD, FILES SUIT IN LOS ANGELES FEDERAL COURT

 LEAF, INC., MAKER OF 'FRANK THOMAS' BASEBALL CARD,
 FILES SUIT IN LOS ANGELES FEDERAL COURT
 BANNOCKBURN, Ill., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaf, Inc., the manufacturer of Donruss(R) and Leaf brand baseball cards, filed suit April 16 in the federal court in Los Angeles, Calif., against a publishing company and three individuals for the unauthorized copying of its 1990 Leaf brand "Frank Thomas" rookie card. All defendants are located in the Los Angeles area.
 In the suit, Leaf has charged the defendants with violations of federal copyright law, federal trademark law and federal and state unfair competition law.
 "We are committed to doing everything we can to protect the integrity of our cards," said James Hanlon, president and chief executive officer, Leaf, Inc. North America.
 Law enforcement authorities and Leaf have already impounded bogus cards produced in the card counterfeiting operation, according to Robert J. Lewis, Leaf's attorney. Leaf is requesting that the federal court order the defendants to turn over additional materials and equipment -- including the printing press, scanner, printing plate-making equipment and cutting equipment -- and to pay Leaf substantial damages as well as its attorneys' fees and court costs.
 "It is our intention to send a tough message to anyone who may be tempted to pursue counterfeiting activities against Leaf," said Hanlon.
 Leaf has an ongoing program of policing the marketplace for counterfeiting of its cards. It was through this program and the help of local dealers, police officers and traders that Leaf was able to discover the Los Angeles-area counterfeiting activities.
 Lewis said the counterfeiting of Leaf's cards was in its early stages. He also said that as a result of the investigation to date, Leaf believes most of the counterfeit "Frank Thomas" cards already have been destroyed. Further, Leaf's investigation indicates that the rights of others involved in the trading card business may also have been violated by some of the defendants.
 Leaf is continuing to investigate the matter to determine whether other persons are involved in the counterfeiting.
 In addition to its Donruss and Leaf brand baseball cards, Leaf, Inc. North America manufactures and markets confectionery products throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to its baseball cards, its brands include Milk Duds(R), Whoppers(R), Heath(R) bar, PayDay(R), Good & Plenty(R), Switzer(R) licorice and cherry candy, Rain Blo(R) bubble gum, Jolly Rancher(R) candy, as well as other chewing gum and candy products.
 -0- 4/20/92
 /CONTACT: Robert J. Lewis 708-374-3225, attorney for Leaf/ CO: Leaf, Inc. ST: Illinois IN: HOU SU:


CK -- NY087 -- 0256 04/20/92 17:12 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 20, 1992
Words:432
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