Phillies go to court to prevent Phanatic from becoming 'free agent'

Mike DeNardo
August 02, 2019 - 5:47 pm
Phillie Phanatic

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — So, who actually owns the Phillie Phanatic?  

The Phils went to court Friday to keep their lucrative copyright to the furry green mascot.

A 1984 agreement with mascot co-designer Harrison/Erickson, Inc. says the Phillies own the copyright to the Phillie Phanatic "forever." But according to a federal suit filed by the Phillies, Harrison/Erickson believes "forever" should end on June 15, 2020, unless their deal is renegotiated.  

According to the suit, Harrison/Erickson said it would seek an injunction against the Phillies, which would make the Phanatic a "free agent" unless a new deal was struck, paying the company millions of dollars. 

The Phillies in the suit say the team co-created the character with Harrison/Erickson, so the company can't hold sole authorship rights to the Phanatic.  

The team said in the suit that Harrison/Erickson also "fraudulently" obtained its copyright registration by claiming the Phanatic was an "artistic sculpture" instead of a costume.