Logo creator fights to retain image rights

By Ann Coultas

The creator of the symbol is suing the University. Jack Davis wants to regain control of the logo he designed when he was a student in the 1980s.

Robert Auler is the lawyer representing Davis. He said the Board of Trustees decided the logo will no longer be used to represent all of the University’s athletic teams.

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Now, this was a key part of the agreement Davis made with the University Associate Athletic Director back in 1980, when he allowed the University to begin using the logo. And because of this change in agreement, Auler said Davis should regain control of the symbol.

“The University has continued to market the logo on T-shirts and other things, through various marketing arms,” Auler said. “This is inconsistent with the direct resolution of the Board of Trustees.”

Despite the lawsuit, the University is working with Collegiate Licensing Company to add the Chief Logo to an online apparel collection. University spokeswomen Robin Kaler said in a statement that the use of the logo does not violate the University nor the NCAA’s policies.

The agreement between Davis and the assistant athletic coach Vance Redfern was an oral contract. Justin Karibus is a lawyer and alumnus. He said these oral contracts can be problematic.

“You kind of have a proof problem that says how do you prove this oral contract and generally the Statute of Fraud says that if you have an oral contract that is exercisable over a year then it must be in writing,” Karibus said.

The lawsuit does not involve money. Davis is only requesting control of the image.