Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rose Bowl Copyright Infringement

Copyright litigation can be tricky without an attorney.  Take, for example, the case of David Bartholomew, a man who claims he is the original designer of the Rose Bowl and Parade logo.  Bartholomew claims he came up with the logo while attending school at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design in 1977.  Bartholomew claims that he made the design and gave it to the tournament’s staff, who released it a few years later as the work of a different student, Susan Karasic.  Karasic vehemently denies any of this, and says that she has various sketchbook drawings, showing the evolution of the design.

He’s not a football fan, so Bartholomew says he didn’t notice the logo until just a few years ago, and is now trying to collect damages for some 30 years of the logo’s use.  Since he doesn’t have an attorney, it’s been hard for him to argue the rolling statute of limitations on copyrights, as well as other tricky copyright nuances.  His case has been dismissed and appealed many times since 2007, and has cost him over $14,000, according to last week’s lengthy article in the L.A. Times.

Whether or not his claim is legitimate, he sums up the feeling of those who have suffered intellectual property theft pretty well:  “What happened was a booby trap. It’s like somebody broke into my house and stole my property.”