Updated: WWE and Panini reach agreement over trading card dispute, lawsuit dismissed

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/11/15/wwe-and-panini-reach-in-principle-agrement-over-trading-card-dispute/

Updated to reflect the news that the court action has been dismissed.

WWE and Panini have reached an agreement on their trading card dispute.

The settlement agreement was later reflected in a dismissal of the lawsuits that each company had filed against the other, as brought to light by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.

The Panini v. WWE case has been settled.

The case is dismissed without prejudice meaning it could be revisited, but that's probably the end of it.

No word on the settlement terms. pic.twitter.com/njUhBkw1ys

— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) November 15, 2023

The two companies inked an agreement in 2021 that meant Panini was the sole producer of WWE trading cards.

The agreement went awry when WWE announced its intent to get out of the remaining years on its deal and move its business to Fanatics, citing a breach of contract by Panini.

Panini argued that it had held up its end of the original deal and had been blindsided by WWE’s attempt to end the contract.

There had been three lawsuits ongoing among the key players, including an antitrust suit filed by Panini against its competitor.

Court documents that came to light on Wednesday show that WWE President Nick Khan spoke with representatives of Panini over Zoom on October 3 and again on November 14.

The parties exchanged settlement proposals and have reached an agreement in principle. The document states that the agreement is now in the process of being drafted.

Dollar amounts or other terms of the agreement have not been released.

Per intellectual property lawyer Paul Lesko, the court documents state, in part:

Pursuant to the Court’s Order, the parties certify that they have conferred live and in real time to discuss a potential resolution. Specifically, on October 3, 2023 Nick Khan (CEO, WWE), Mark Warsop (CEO, Panini America) and Elisabetta Mussini (Group Licensing Director, Panini S.p.A.) conferred by Zoom for approximately 30 minutes and on November 14 the same parties plus their counsel conferred by Zoom for approximately 30 minutes.

In addition, the parties exchanged settlement proposals and counterproposals on October 3, 2023, October 17, 2023, November 8, 2023, November 9, 2023, and November 13, 2023. Counsel for the parties were speaking regularly by phone throughout this period in connection with these proposals.

The discussions between the parties and their counsel have resulted in an agreement in principle. The parties are in the process of memorializing that agreement in a signed writing.

John Pollock and Brandon Thurston spoke with attorney Paul Lesko about the details behind the lawsuit involving Panini and WWE on October 18. You can watch their discussion on the POST Wrestling YouTube Channel.