U.S. News

Topps, Upper Deck settle baseball card lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Topps Co, the trading card company, has settled a lawsuit in which it accused rival Upper Deck Co of stealing its designs for baseball cards.

The companies resolved the copyright infringement case through mediation conducted by U.S. Senior District Judge Robert Sweet, according to a November 3 order posted online on Thursday.

Details about the settlement were not immediately available. Lawyers for both companies did not immediately return calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Topps, based in New York, was bought in 2007 by former Walt Disney Co chief Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co and private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC. Upper Deck is based in Carlsbad, California.

In its lawsuit, Topps said some of Upper Deck’s 2009 trading cards mimicked its designs for several cards it made in the 1970s, including the popular 1975 baseball cards with a two-color border.

Topps had sought several remedies, including monetary damages and the destruction of the Upper Deck cards.

On August 6, Topps said it won a multi-year agreement starting in 2010 to become the exclusive trading card maker for Major League Baseball, dealing a blow to Upper Deck.

Topps has sold baseball cards since 1952.

The case is Topps Co v. Upper Deck Co, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-3780.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Dave Zimmerman