Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) has successfully defended itself in a lawsuit filed by patent attorney Duane C. Blake. In Duane C.
Blake v. Professional Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America, and Collectors Universe, Inc., Blake claimed to have invented a system for grading eye appeal and alleged that NGC misappropriated his marketing plan. On Friday, January 11, 2013 a 12 person
federal jury unanimously decided in favor of NGC.
Since 2000 NGC has used its Star () designation, a registered trademark of NGC, to indicate
coins that possess exceptional eye appeal. Blake had further claimed ownership of the Plus ()
designation, which was introduced by NGC in May 2010 and had been used in the rare coin industry for decades prior.
The jury deliberated only one hour and forty minutes before rendering its verdict in favor of NGC. Edward G. Sponzilli of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, a longtime outside counsel of NGC, represented NGC in the successful defense.
“NGC will always defend itself against frivolous lawsuits,” says NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg. “We are pleased that the jury agreed that Blake’s assertions were without merit.”