April 14, 2009

Can't we all just get along? -- Topps Sues Upper Deck (UPDATED)

This moved on the AP wire today:

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By LARRY NEUMEISTER
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball card maker Topps says it caught a competitor stealing and wants the rival product thrown out.


The Topps Co. Inc. made the accusation Tuesday against The Upper Deck Co. Inc. in a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Topps said baseball cards published this year by Upper Deck and some cards about to be published should be tossed because they imitate the layout and design of cards it printed in the 1970s.

Topps, based in Manhattan, said the 2009 cards already distributed by the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Upper Deck copy the 1975 Topps cards in their layout and design. Other cards about to be sold by Upper Deck imitate the 1971 and 1977 Topps cards, the lawsuit said.

A spokesman for Upper Deck did not immediately return a call for comment.

In its lawsuit, Topps described how it believes Upper Deck mimicked its design with just a few variations.

It said similarities between each company’s cards included the use of a colorful, divided two-tone border, the player’s photograph superimposed on a thin white border, the player’s autograph toward the bottom of the picture and the use of an image of a baseball on a bottom corner of the card.

Topps said its competitor’s cards will confuse or deceive customers because each of the Upper Deck designs are nearly identical to the Topps cards.

Topps asked that Upper Deck be ordered to destroy the cards and turn over any profits, along with other unspecified monetary damages.

5 comments:

  1. I JUST saw this two seconds ago!

    Everyone pretty much knew this was coming.

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  2. Yet they never said a thing about the Topps designs that UD "borrowed" for their Vintage line...

    I'd rather see Topps worry about making a decent product than filing frivolous lawsuits. They didn't bother to defend their designs in the past, and I'd expect that the rights to the designs went with the O-Pee-Chee name.

    But 2009 is evidently the year to sue Upper Deck...

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  3. if this delays '09 OPC baseball and my 1971 OPC retro inserts... I'm gonna be pissed.
    I'm not that nice of a guy to begin with, let alone when I am angered...

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  4. ohhhh ... I'm scaaaared.

    Don't blame the messenger.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So, who's sending their cards back to be destroyed? :)

    ReplyDelete