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Topps sues Upper Deck over O-Pee-Chee design use


Topps filed a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court on Tuesday, accusing Upper Deck of stealing its designs.

The 2009 Upper Deck set includes a 1975 O-Pee-Chee insert set (above) that resembles the 1975 O-Pee-Chee design, which was identical to the 1975 Topps design. (O-Pee-Chee was the Canadian counterpart to Topps, a name that Upper Deck obtained the rights to a few years ago.)

Forthcoming Upper Deck products will include 1971 and 1977 O-Pee-Chee cards carrying virtually the same designs. However, the Topps and O-Pee-Chee designs were virtually identical until 1993.

Topps had sought a temporary restraining order preventing the release of the forthcoming products but a New York judge dismissed that request on Wednesday.

A Topps official declined to comment back in February when the upcoming O-Pee-Chee standalone set (which will include the 1971 inserts) was announced.

Upper Deck released the following statement to The Associated Press:

“We strongly disagree with the allegations and look forward to issuing a formal response.”

Below are examples of the forthcoming O-Pee-Chee cards.


1971 (above)


1977 (above)

Below are the Topps designs from those years.


1971 Topps (above)


1975 Topps (above)


1977 Topps (above)

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.



alot of the hockey designs were the same also. i was realy looking forward to these cards

Posted April 15, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

As one person said on a message board, if these cards are discontinued, the ones which have already been produced with be worth quite a bit.

Posted April 16, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

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