Take a good look. On the left is a logo created by Mike Ivall and first posted to the Icethetics blog on July 8, 2008. It has a habit of stirring up controversy in the form of infringement because, on right is the new logo of the NAHL's Port Huron Fighting Falcons, who will have an unveiling event for it on Wednesday.
There is no question where this Fighting Falcons logo came from. Too many distinct elements just copied outright without much else altered. What is perhaps most disturbing is that this team isn't even bothering to credit the logo's original creator and, in fact, crediting someone else entirely. Someone named Larry Smith of Tag Sports Graphics gets the nod on the team's website.
Mike tells me he emailed the team over the weekend and is waiting to hear back. I also have an email into the them seeking comment on the situation. I'll let you know if they reply.
This isn't the first time Mike's logo has been used without his permission. Most recently, he worked out a deal with the Maplesoft Hawks, a AAA organization based in Ottawa, had been using his exact logo on team merchandise.
However, a rather shady company called Chi-City Tees, presumably based in Chicago, is selling t-shirts featuring Mike's design — without his permission. They list no physical address on their website. Another company called MNM Hockey, is using a slightly altered version of the logo to promote its site. To my knowledge, neither organization has worked out a deal with Mike.
That just makes them thieves.
The situation regarding the logo seems to have sputtered out this week. The Fighting Falcons will apparently go back to the drawing board on this one. Times Herald writer Paul Costanzo spoke with president/GM Ernie Hicke at Wednesday's press conference:
On the logo: I talked briefly to Hicke about it, and basically the team is looking for a new one. Mike Ivall had created a logo very similar to the Fighting Falcons (not the same) and had contacted the team. Nobody wanted to get into a legal dispute over it, so the team is just going to create a new logo.
Sounds like that wraps things up. I'll keep an eye out for the new logo and share it here on the blog when the team does unveil it. The season begins Sept. 10, so we should see it before then.