News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for April 15th, 2022


Baseball Cards and the Right of Publicity

Baseball’s back in Cleveland today with the home opener of the new Cleveland Guardians. Which leads us to think all things baseball, even as we explore our new library database – Landmark Records and Briefs of the U.S. Courts of Appeals. This database covers U.S. appeals courts briefs, petitions, and other court documents from 1891-1980. And as it so happens, it includes materials on the leading baseball card case that developed the legal right of publicity.

The case is Haelan Laboratories v. Topps Chewing Gum, 202 F.2d 866 (2nd Circ. 1953), and you can find the text of the decision in Lexis, Westlaw, and other free sources like Justia. What you will not easily find for this case are the appellant and appellee briefs or the petition itself. That’s where Landmark Records and Briefs of the U.S. Courts of Appeals comes in. In this database, you’ll find the full text of several key documents associated with the case, including briefs, that are not easily accessed elsewhere.

In the case, the plaintiff is a chewing gum manufacturer who seeks to protect their exclusive right to use the pictures of certain baseball players on their baseball cards. Jackie Robinson was one of the players whose picture was involved in the case.

You can find Landmark Records and Briefs of the U.S. Courts of Appeals in our list of databases.