Phillie Phanatic and its Legal Owners


Sudipta Bandyopadhyay 15/08/19 #copyright #patent #trademark #brandprotection #infringement #news #newsupdate #topnews #world #headlines #breakingnews #latestnews #trending #hotnews #blogging #education #educationalblog #PhiladelphiaPhillies #HarrisonandErickson #Phanatic #mascot

Phillies created the vision for mascot in the 1970s. Philadelphia Phillies Harrison and Erickson team up to prepare the costume Phanatic. Suddenly, after forty years Philadelphia Phillies got a legal notice from Harrison and Erickson (H/E). The notice of termination claimed that H/E had the right to terminate the contract if the team and the company didn't reach a new agreement, which would take effect on June 15, 2020. To restrain the termination, Phillies had filed a complaint before New York Federal Court.

Code 17 U.S. Section 203 says about the termination of copyright. The termination provisions of the copyright law allow an author to reclaim rights after many years. The provision of the Copyright Act allows authors to terminate a grant of a transfer or license of copyright. Section 203 of the Copyright Act does not provide authors with multiple opportunities to renegotiate grants of copyrights after they have full knowledge of the market value of the works at issue. An author has only a single opportunity to revisit the terms of its grant. The Philadelphia Phillies are a professional baseball team in Philadelphia, U.S.A. Phillie Phanatic is a large, furry, green bipedal flightless bird. It entertains the fans of the team during games.

On March 17, 1978, the team entered into an agreement with Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison to provide a design and costume for the Phanatic. That time the Executive Vice President Bill Giles added new creative ideas for this mascot. Finally, in April 1978 the costume was delivered to Phillies. Later the Phillies paid royalties to H/E to further develop the mascot. The H/E registered their work as artistic sculpture. The work was designed as a shaggy creature wearing tennis shoes, tights and baseball shirts while carrying pennant. For getting the exclusive rights for forever the Phillies signed an Assignment with H/E with which stated that H/E transferred its right, title and interest in and to the copyright in the artistic sculpture of Phanatic, and all renewals and extensions thereof in exchange of cash. H/E also assigned any and all causes of action heretofore accrued in H/E's favour for infringement of the said copyright. This deal took place in 1984.

The Club owns federal trademark registrations involving the Phanatic, which have been in use for well over five consecutive years. Through the termination notice, H/E conveyed that they will sue the Phillies for copyright infringement if the Club continues to use the Phanatic and/or derivatives of the Phanatic after June 15, 2020.

The H/E claimed a huge amount of money from the Phillies and also warned that if the complainant fails to pay the amount, Phanatic will be sold to another team. Keeping the agreement of 1984 as evidence the complainant filed the case to declare the legal notice of H/E as null and void through a Judicial order. The Phillies also prayed for an injunction to restrain copyright infringement case by Harrison and Erickson.

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