Buzz Aldrin Fight Over Topps Cards Grounded

Law360, New York (September 29, 2011, 2:50 PM EDT) -- A California federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a suit filed by astronaut Buzz Aldrin against trading card giant Topps Co. Inc., finding that collectible cards using Aldrin's name and image are protected speech under the First Amendment.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson backed Topps' request to toss the complaint under California's anti-SLAPP statute. SLAPP stands for strategic lawsuits against public participation, and the law is designed to dispose of meritless litigation meant to discourage free speech at an early stage.

The judge said Topps' sales of the collectible cards for profit did not limit the product's free speech protections....

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