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Woman suing the Yankees over the top hat logo has her case tossed out of court

Jun 26, 2012, 11:02 AM EDT


Last year a woman sued the New York Yankees for trademark infringement, claiming that her uncle created the Yankees top hat logo in 1947 and revised it in 1952 but never got paid for his work. That case was tossed by the trial court. Today it was tossed again on appeal.

The upshot: the plaintiff’s allegations didn’t establish the existence of a federal copyright claim because, at best, the the logo was a work for hire and if her uncle wasn’t paid for that back in the 40s or 50s he’s out of luck now and she certainly has no standing to advance and assigned claim in federal court.

Sorry, ma’am. You have my sympathies. They’re well behind my sympathies for the comic book creators of that era who got boned out of millions by the big comic book companies, but I’ll try to find a place in my heart for you someplace.

  1. gilbert718 - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    yep lady you invented the top hat, now the yankees have it on there logo and you want money for it.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Your comment implies you actually know something about the situation.

      • paperlions - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Actually, his comment establishes that (s)he didn’t read the post nor has (s)he read any other material about the situation.

  2. itsacurse - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    “The court rules in favor of Mr. Lampwick. Itchy & Scratchy Studios will
    pay a restitution of 800 billion dollars… though that amount will
    probably come down a bit on appeal.”

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Are you saying all this lady is really after is a solid gold house?

      • itsacurse - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        and a rocket car

  3. largebill - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    She and her lawyers should be beaten silly. Only way to fix things is to make it painful to file frivolous suits. Mind you their beating should be no where near as severe as the one which should be administered to the broad and her lawyer suing a little league kid for a bad throw.

    Separately, is this lady really so stink’n lazy she is trying to live off something her UNCLE did 60 years ago??!! If I fail to get compensated for something I do during my lifetime I could almost understand my own kids asking to settle the account during a reasonable timeframe after my passing (couple weeks – maybe couple months), but my various and a sundry nieces and nephews would have no damn claim unless specifically named in my will (their not). Once probate is complete all bets are off – get on with your own life, loser.

    • largebill - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Oops “they’re not” vice “their not.” Dang-it, need more coffee.

      • gilbert718 - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        how about a 5 hour energy lol (iv never tried it)

    • drewsylvania - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Oh please. You sound like a corporate shill.

    • danrizzle - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      “broad”? Jeez.

  4. ravensos - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    There was a similar case with a security guard who sued the Baltimore Ravens over the logo he said he created. I don’t remember what the “exact” outcome was, but I’m pretty sure they cannot use the logo he laid claim to.

    • jjschiller - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      Yep. He won the lawsuit. A jury found in his favor, and at appeal, a judge upheld the jury verdict.

      He was then granted three dollars in damages.

      So the moral of the story is…

  5. drewsylvania - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Our oligarchy at work.

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    I’m not sure how frivolous this is. In Canada, the woman who wrote the HNIC theme as a work for hire somehow went to court and retained the rights to it decades later. In my mind that makes this suit seem like it was at least worth a shot.

    • mcsnide - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      If anybody’s going to be sued over HNIC, it should be Don Cherry’s tailor.

  7. randygnyc - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I know the artist who created the tongue logo for the rolling stones. About 15 years ago he tried to sue them, saying that he wasn’t paid enough, originally for his work. Something like he was taken advantage of. He didn’t win.

  8. amhendrick - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Huh, I thought the logo was older than that, and had something to do with the WWI “Hat in the Ring” Squadron. (

    • larryboodry - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      According to a website devoted to sports logos, the design was the work of a guy named Lon Keller, and debuted in 1947, with no revisions mentioned…The lady who sued in named Tanit Buday, she claims her uncle designed the logo and assigned the copyright to her back in the 60’s…Uncle’s name – surprise, surprise – is not Lon Keller, but Kenneth Timur..

  9. larryboodry - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Actually, the logo was designed in 1947 by a guy named Lon Keller…No mention of any revisions.

  10. larryboodry - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Here”s a link to Lon Keller’s website…

    I dunno, I think Tanit Buday is full of crap…Her uncle didn’t design the logo.

  11. lostsok - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfater…who by the name of Org…invented the wheel.

    Where’s my money?

  12. meltdwn - Aug 23, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    You don’t need to find a place in your heart for her…

    Lon Keller designed the logo

    Which makes her claim as hokey as can be.

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