Yu-Gi-Oh! Lawsuit Concludes: TV Tokyo, NAS, ADK to Settle with 4Kids for $8 Million

March 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Posted in 4Kids, Other Stuff | 3 Comments

Yugi gesturing moments before he finishes off Kaiba in a duel in episode 134

Today, 4Kids Entertainment filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking approval for an $8 million settlement between itself and TV Tokyo Corporation, Nihon Ad System, Inc. (NAS), and Asatsu-DK, Inc. (ADK). When approved, the settlement will effectively end the nearly one-year-old Yu-Gi-Oh! lawsuit between the Japanese licensors and 4Kids.

In addition to awarding 4Kids $8 million, the terms of the settlement reaffirm the court’s December 29 ruling in favor of 4Kids: both parties acknowledge that the Yu-Gi-Oh! License was not terminated and remains in effect with 4Kids. Furthermore, the settlement dismisses with prejudice all claims and counterclaims between the licensors and 4Kids and prohibits either party from taking additional action against the other for any matters that may have existed prior to the settlement.

As is commonplace for many settlements, neither the licensors nor 4Kids is admitting to any wrongdoing. The settlement also forbids both parties from releasing comments to the press about the lawsuit or its outcome (other than through the typical press release), so don’t expect to hear any groundbreaking new details as the dust settles.

A court hearing is scheduled for March 9, where the settlement is expected to be approved.

Mediations and Considerations

Since mid-December, 4Kids and the licensors have been participating in several non-binding mediation sessions overseen by the court. Throughout those weeks, it appeared that nothing good would come out of the meetings and that both parties would eventually be dragged through another trial, so the emergence of this settlement is a welcome sight. The settlement will allow both 4Kids and the licensors to finally refocus their resources and attention back on the Yu-Gi-Oh! property. Ultimately, both sides merely want to continue growing the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand in the U.S. and abroad.

In crafting the settlement, 4Kids, TV Tokyo, NAS, and ADK considered a myriad of factors that eventually led to the $8 million damage figure. It’s worth thinking about the different aspects of the lawsuit that may have influenced their decisions. For example:

  • The hefty legal fees
  • The harm that may have been caused when 4Kids filed for bankruptcy, like
    • 4Kids’ loss of clients
    • 4Kids’ inability to obtain new clients
    • 4Kids’ loss of sublicensing and distribution opportunities (DVDs, TV network deals, etc.)
    • Additional legal fees
  • The harm to 4Kids’ business reputation
  • The direct loss of Yu-Gi-Oh!-related business due to confusion over who holds the rights
  • The disruption to the production of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal anime based on material availability

What role did each of these factors play in leading up to the settlement? What other reasons could have led the parties to settle? Eight million dollars is certainly no small number for the companies involved. I’ll leave the thought experiments to you.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Lawsuit Results: 4Kids Retains Yu-Gi-Oh! License; TV Tokyo, NAS Fail to Terminate Licensing Agreement

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  1. thanks for the info! I don’t really get all the legal stuff.. I just wish the original yugioh got released on DVD again. I only need three more .. but they are like impossible to get. It would be nice if they were uncut too >.< but i guess I'll take what I can get. Anyways I love your blog! It has alot of really great info! Keep it up!

  2. Now that this mess is almost over, I sure hope that 4Kids and TV Tokyo will work together to finish GX and 5Ds. I’m desperate to see them in English.

  3. It’s quite clear they need to duel for the answer!

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