Washington Capitals Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Settled
UPDATE: This matter has been settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP has filed a lawsuit against Lincoln Hockey LLC and NHL Enterprises L.P. for copyright infringement. Lincoln Hockey LLC owns and controls the Washington Capitals, a National Hockey League team. NHL Enterprises L.P. is the business arm of the National Hockey League and controls the merchandising and licensing of merchandise related to the team.
The lawsuit alleges that defendants have copied and misappropriated the plaintiff's copyrighted works by reproducing, adapting, distributing and/or displaying the W-Eagle-Capitol logo throughout all forms of media and merchandising. The plaintiff never granted a license, assigned ownership, or authorized defendants to reproduce, distribute, display, create derivative works, or uses in any way his copyrighted works.
The plaintiff's logo contains several protectable elements, including an eagle in the shape of the letter "W" with an eagle's head at the peak of the "W", using an illusion of the Capitol building at the base of the letter. The current Washington Capitals logo is a substantially similar work to the plaintiff's copyrighted design described above and illustrated below.