A January 14, 2008 trial date has now been set for a copyright infringement case pitting Florida inventor Michael Faessler against U.S. Playing Card Company, one of the largest makers of playing cards.
Faessler's case against U.S. Playing Card was filed in September of 2005, and alleges nine counts of infringement, for a possible total in statutory damages alone of $1.35 million. Faessler alleges that four registered copyrights, one for each set of card designs he created, are being violated.
Faessler, a West Point graduate who previously sold his line of Military Playing Cards into military PXs beyween 1995 and 2001, saw that business supplanted when U.S. Playing Card launched its own Patriotic Playing Cards line. Faessler alleges that U.S. Playing Card Company became aware of his PX contract in 1998 and immediately targeted his line, seeking to supplant it. Faessler returned to active duty in 2001; at some later point the U.S. Playing Card Company successfully entered the PX market with the Patriotic Playing Cards line. U.S. Playing Card's desings bear a similarity to Faessler's offerings, which are largely of themed decks incorporating military insignias in place of the standard 'pips' for suits.
Faessler successfully fended off U.S. Playing Card Company's pre-trial motion to dismiss and now seeks compensation in the planned jury trial, and also has announced his intent to target the military PXs in a future, separate action.
U.S. Playing Card Company is a division of the Jarden Corporation.