Apr
22

Business hits: Peanuts and copyright complaints

By

For all of you non-chatters out there, we have a pair of small stories relating to the business of baseball on tap. Let’s get started.

Peanut-maker Bazzini heads to Pennsylvania

Nothing goes together quite like peanuts and baseball, but the Yanks’ official peanut company is heading out of the Bronx. As Crain’s Small Business reported earlier in the week, A.L. Bazzini Co. is going to close its Hunts Point plant and move its operations to Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Bronx will lose 57 jobs as this plant becomes the third to close in recent years, but the company will continue to serve as the official peanut of Yankee Stadium.

Woman alleges copyright infringement over Yankee logo

From the Litigation Over Anything Department, a Yonkers woman is suing the Yanks alleging a case of 75-year-old copyright infringement. After spending 15 years researching the issue, Tanit Buday claims that the Yanks stole their famous Top Hat logo from her uncle in the mid-1930s. She alleges that the team, then run by Jacob Ruppert, promised to pay Kenneth Timur for the logo then and when it was redesigned in the early 1950s.

While the history of the Top Hat logo has been in doubt, Buday’s filing alleging unjust enrichment, copyright infringement and breach of contract, among other charges. She says her uncle did not know the Yanks were even using the logo until he arrived in the States in the late 1940s and that the Yanks rebuffed his attempts at getting paid. He did however agree to update the logo in 1952 for the team’s 50th anniversary in New York.

The Yankees haven’t commented, but it’s hard to see how they would lose the case. First, the underlying complaint is based on a cause of action at least 60 years old, and the Yanks can probably get the case dismissed on either a laches-based argument or by appealing to the statute of limitations. Even if this complaint somehow survives a motion to dismiss, the club has every reason to fight for its highly valued intellectual property rights. The full complaint –which seems like a frivolous one to me — is embedded after the jump.

Buday v Yanks

Categories : News

18 Comments»

  1. As Crain’s Small Business reported earlier in the week, A.L. Bazzini Co. is going to close its Hunts Point plant and move its operations to Allentown, Pennsylvania.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHnJp0oyOxs

    (‘bligatory’d)

  2. Gonzo says:

    I imagine the new Facebook lawsuit guy has a much better shot than Ms. Buday

  3. Brian in NH says:

    Our Litigious Society. Don’t you just love it?

  4. J says:

    As a future lawyer, yes, I love it.

  5. boogie down says:

    Listen, whoever comes to you with this Bazzini meeting, he’s the traitor. Don’t forget that.

  6. MattG says:

    Peanuts are too everyman for YSIII anyway. What’s the most beaujy nut? Pistachio? Almond?

  7. KennyH123 says:

    So if it turned out that Shoeless Joe Jackson did not, in fact, take money to throw the 1919 World Series, we should still keep him out of baseball simply because it happened 90 years ago? That’s ridiculous.

    If this guy did design the Yankee logo and did not get compensated…. an extremely real possiblity… then his family deserves the compensation. And damages to boot. Let’s find out the details.

    I love how people rush to the defense of the mega corporation known at the Yankees, worth about 1.5 billion dollars, just because its their favorite baseball team. Listen, I love the Yankees and root for them. But I’d like to find out for sure whether this lady’s claim has any merit.

    • Andy in NYC says:

      First, I don’t think anyone was “jumping to the defense” of the Yankees. Ben merely pointed out that the Yankees have a right to defend their intellectual property.

      Second, there is a thing called the “statue of limitations”, as noted in the article. I don’t know if it applies here, but if it does, and it has expired, then the case must be thrown out.

      Finally, that’s a very nice strawman you built there with the Shoeless Joe Jackson thing. Not only does it not apply here, but even if it did, you’ve gotten the logic backward.

  8. Andy in NYC says:

    Damn, the mobile version of this page was totally broken on my Android phone. Possibly because of the embedded image?

    Every time I tried to submit a comment, the page jumped up or down. Frustrating.

  9. nycrefugee says:

    Perhaps the first time that the affirmative defenses of laches and the statute of limitations have been simultaneously noted on a Yankees blog. You have studied well, Mr. Kabak.

  10. Bob Stone says:

    United States copyright statute of limitations is 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

    Laches seems like a more reaonable defense.

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