Phillies

Phillies Want Money Back If They Lose Phanatic Lawsuit

The Phillies paid $215,000 to creators Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison in 1984 for the rights to use the Phanatic as the team's mascot “forever”

The Phillie Phanatic high-fives a fan during a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

If the Philadelphia Phillies lose the rights to the Phillie Phanatic, their lawyer says the team wants its money back, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

The Phillies paid $215,000 to creators Bonnie Erickson and Wayde Harrison — and their design firm Harrison/Erickson — in 1984 for the rights to use the Phillie Phanatic as the team's mascot “forever.” The firm claims it can renegotiate those terms, as the Phanatic is worth much more now. A section of the Copyright Act allows creators of copyrighted works to renegotiate or terminate a licensing agreement 35 years after the initial agreement date. 

According to court filings, the Phillies’ legal representation now says the team will seek a percentage of the money paid to Harrison and Erickson over the last several decades because the team did not get what the agreement stipulated: “forever” rights.

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The Phillies have been embroiled in a legal battle with Erickson and Harrison over ownership of the Phanatic since August. The team and the design firm have sued each other over the rights to the beloved mascot.

Read more about the Phillies' Phanatic lawsuit at PBJ.com.

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