EA Sports – Still In the Courts

Posted: May 12, 2011 in Robert J. Romano

The NCAA, believing that if at first you don’t succeed . . . , has again asked the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California to dismiss the antitrust and right to publicity lawsuit filed against them by lead plaintiff’s Ed O’Bannon and Sam Keller.  And again, the U.S. District Court rejected the NCAA’s request.

However, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken did dismiss the plaintiff’s antitrust claims against Electronic Arts Inc. (EA Sports), but not the right of publicity claims, finding that EA Sports did not violated antitrust law by conspiring with the NCAA to avoid paying former college athletes for the use of their images in video games.

The plaintiffs are moving forward and are seeking to take deposition testimony of NCAA President, Mark A. Emmert. The NCAA is filing motions to bar said deposition on the theory that such testimony is irrelevant since Dr. Emmert was not the President of the NCAA at the time the plaintiffs were allegedly damaged by the conduct of the NCAA.

“As the plaintiffs well know, Dr. Emmert was not at the NCAA during the time period at issue in this lawsuit.” Stated the NCAA, “The plaintiffs’ notice of his deposition at this point is inappropriate, and we will take action accordingly.”

A trial date has been scheduled for March 11, 2013.

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