Upper Deck has won the first round of its latest legal battle with its east coast coarch-rival, calling Topps’ lawsuit "frivilous and counterproductive".
The Upper Deck Company won a legal victory Wednesday when a U.S. District Court judge denied a Temporary Restraining Order sought by Topps to prevent the release of 2009 Upper Deck Series Two and 2009 O-Pee-Chee baseball card products.
The Topps Company filed a lawsuit against Upper Deck Tuesday claiming copyright infringement over the release of the OPC cards. Topps claims the card designs are nearly identical to some 1970s Topps designs.
In a statement released late Wednesday, Upper Deck said it "strongly denies the allegations and did, in fact, do its due diligence when researching, clearing and securing approvals to use the card designs".
California-based Upper Deck also claims it received "necessary legal approvals and proper protocol was followed to ensure there were no infringements".
“Based on the tactics utilized by Topps thus far, Upper Deck questions the validity of this claim,” said Bernd Becker, Upper Deck’s Vice President of Trading Cards. “We strongly disagree with the allegations. In today’s challenging economic environment, it seems petty and counterproductive to file such a frivolous suit.”
New York-based Topps said the 2009 cards already distributed by Upper Deck copy the 1975 Topps cards in their layout and design. Upper Deck also plans to issue cards that are similar to the 1971 and 1977 Topps designs.
In the suit, Topps said the new Upper Deck offerings will confuse or deceive customers and wants Upper Deck to destroy the cards and turn over any profits, along with other unspecified monetary damages.
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