Logo Creator Sues Baltimore Ravens Again, for Continued Use of His Logo

Written By:  •  Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baltimore Ravens Old Logo Suit Shield

Frederick Bouchat was found by a jury, and multiple appeals, to have designed the logo that the Baltimore Ravens used heavily to create their initial logo, upon being admitted into the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1996.

The federal jury ruled in his favor in 1998. Last November a judge ordered the NFL and the team to compensate Mr. Bouchat for their use of the logo judged to be similar to his from 1996 to 1998. They have yet to do so and have stepped across another line according to Bouchat and his lawyer.

Baltimore Ravens Old Logo Suit Both

The original design, as faxed to Raven front office and NFL, and the logo the Ravens released

Several photos at M&T Bank Stadium show the past logo, as many as nine photos show former players such as Vinny Testaverde, Jonathan Ogden and Jermaine Lewis sporting the design. Video games and the internet are also targets of the newly filed suit.

Baltimore Ravens Old Logo Suit

The Ravens wore this logo from 1996-1998

The case is likely to revolve around an interesting question – is the past logo, despite being judged to infringe on his design, now a part of team and NFL history, thereby acceptible to be shown?

What do you think? Since the court found they stole his logo, should they pay the man already? Should they quit using the logo, stop showing it anywhere, ever? Or should the man sit back, relax, and enjoy seeing his creation on historical photos?

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JR Francis

JR Francis is an actor, writer, director, graphic designer, UX guru, father, comedian, and craft beer snob. You can reach him at jrfrancis@sportslogos.net or on Twitter @JRFrancisSLN*One of several full-time uniform reporters this site has including its founder, Chris Creamer, who started his site in 1997

  • Jed

    The man should at least be compensated for his work; after all, he designed the logo and should have every right to collect royalty fees for its usage throughout the Baltimore area and within the NFL. The courts have reminded the NFL of doing justice for this man and rightfully so.

    • Greg Kerrigan

      I remember this story several years ago. I remember that the Ravens contacted the artist’s who won the contest, and the man was pleased that the team wanted his drawling’s and all the man asked for was some Ravens items, autograph’s or a helmet , or something to that effect. But when the man learned that he could get more, then the team had to change their logo to the raven head as they use now.

  • Jimmy

    Just pay the man, the NFL is a billion dollar business, seriously, its obvious they copied off his design. Ravens look bad on this.

  • Panhead24

    Just pay back the man already….. but I admit, if I was that guy, I’d just shut up and enjoy seeing my work on a pro team!

  • Roquetman

    The WWE still gets to use the old school WWF logo when used in archive footage or photos without legal troubles from from the “other” WWF.

    • Drew

      @Roquetman That’s not true. The WWE cannot use the “attitude era” WWF logo (the one that looks like the current WWE logo, only with an “F” at the end). However, per the lawsuit, the WWE can continue to use the previous block-WWF logo element. All WWE videos, photos, etc containing the attitude era WWF logo must be and have been blurred to not show the “F”.

      As far as the Ravens go, they should pay him for using the logo for those seasons, thereby “leasing” the rights to use the logo for those seasons with the understanding (written, of course) that this also permits the Ravens to use photos and video from those seasons without further payment. The logo would NOT be acceptable for use on memorabilia and could not be sold, but could be used in banners at the stadium, commercials on TV and other means of displaying the logo for “historical” purposes IF originally part of the photo/video.

  • Masta Blasta

    The Ravens weren’t admitted to the NFL as an expansion franchise. They were the Cleveland Browns that moved to Baltimore.

  • Steve

    @ Masta, they were the old Browns, however they relocated as an expansion team. When Art Modell decided to relocate the team, the City of Cleveland went after the NFL and in an agreement with the commissioner. They would get an eventual team either relocation or expansion. The league also agreed to let all uniforms / logos / stats / and team history remain with Cleveland. Therefore even though the players all went to Baltimore it was actually more like an expansion team being created because the Baltimore Ravens had to no team history. As opposed to a team like the Los Angeles Rams relocating to St Louis, all team history went with the team and it was more like a relocation of a team.

  • Ben

    Why can’t they show the logos after they pay the guy? I mean, I understand that they have not yet paid him but once they compensate the man, the punishment should be fulfilled.

  • Joshua

    They should pay him, and not use the logo ANYMORE, but to ask them to not show ANY pictures from when they WERE using it…

  • Rowdy Robby

    It’s great to see a WWE/WWF reference here on this site. I’ve been following Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos for more than a few years now and appreciate this one-stop place for all my sports branding/marketing/identification of professional, minor and amateur teams’ news, information and history. As a intensly huge WWE fan, I always thought it would be fun if CCSL added a pro-wrestling section to this extraordinary website. The WWE, and its current and former competing promotions, have had many logos throughout there wildly popular history, not just representing the main brand, but also through the marketing of television shows and monthly pay per view events. CCSL has a section dedicated to past and present Super Bowl logos, why not consider displaying the same for WrestleMania? Now, I already know some purists will argue wrestling isn’t real sports competition. I agree. However I believe the basic foundation behind the mass marketing strategy, global branding identity and graphic logo design of sports entertainment are identical to that of the other major sports teams and traditions showcased here within this database. Any thoughts?

    • Jason McQuitty

      Dude, I 100% agree with you.

  • gueman

    Just curious…they always peg this on the Ravens but are not the NFL Properties folks involved too? I thought they were the ones that really do all the design work and the teams just give a thumbs up or down. I ask because I really don’t know I just thought that was how the NFL ran the show. And it is kinda puzzling that they do not pay him. Unless they and the NFL are worried about opening a pandora’s box.

  • Matt

    The team and the league have ignored the judgment against them. Courts tend to drop the hammer on folks who flaunt their ability to do so. The NFL’s unprecedented success record before the bench needs to be dinged a little. As for the plantiff, his original asking price was more than reasonable.

    It’s my belief, for his time and trouble, the league should be ordered to pay him 50-million-dollars, a mere fraction of what NFL Properties earns in a year, but enough to get the league’s attention, where cases such as this are involved. In other words, do the right thing to begin with.

  • ingmar66

    Pay the guy. It is a shame that a powerful and rich apparatus like the NFL can get away with this. After that, never use the logo again. It is as simple as that.