The Philadelphia Phillies recently settled a lawsuit between themselves and the creators of the Phanatic—Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison. The row stemmed from the fact that the original Phanatic's copyright was sold to the Phillies in 1984.
However, per copyright laws, those rights expired in 2019. This prompted Philadelphia to create the "new" Phanatic which distinguished itself just enough from the original to be allowable by law according to a magistrate judge.
Yet, the creators of the Phanatic felt that the Phillies were merely "counterfeiting" the original and threatened an injunction on Philadelphia for its use. They even threatened to sell the Phanatic to another team if needed, a "free agent" of sorts. This prompted the Phillies to file a lawsuit against Erickson and Harrison in order to protect their usage of the lovable mascot.
After a contentious fight through the legal system, both sides came to a settlement. The Phillies will reportedly pay an undisclosed sum of money to the creators who were seeking "millions" and Philadelphia could continue to use the new mascot.
The settlement allows the Phillies to use the old design of the Phanatic if they choose to do so. It seems incredibly likely that the franchise will elect to use the original design of the most recognized mascot in baseball. Welcome back, old friend.
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