• Did Yanks Steal Bat In The Hat?

    Posted by on April 20th, 2011 · Comments (6)

    Via Courthouse News Service

    A man demands punitive damages from the New York Yankees, claiming his late uncle created the ball team’s famous Top Hat logo in 1936 – at the Yankees’ request – revised it in 1952, and never got a dime for it. Tanit Buday claims Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert acquired the logo through a manicurist, who was Buday’s aunt.

    In his complaint in Manhattan Federal Court, Tanit Buday says his uncle, the late Kenneth Timur, of Brooklyn, created the Top Hat logo for Yankees owners Jacob Ruppert and Del Webb in 1936.

    Timur was a graphic illustrator, calligrapher, cartoonist and an expert in heraldry, Buday says. Timur’s sister, Stella, was a manicurist, whose customers included Ruppert and Webb.

    “In 1936, Mr. Ruppert told Stella that the Yankees needed someone with fresh ideas to create a new logo for the Yankees,” Buday says in his 17-page federal complaint, which includes 28 pages of attachments.

    “Stella told Mr. Ruppert about her brother’s expertise. As a result, Timur was commissioned by Mr. Ruppert on behalf of the Yankees to create a logo.

    As requested by the Yankees, Timur created a logo which incorporated the well known and recognized Top Hat and Bat …”

    Buday says Stella gave Ruppert her brother’s logo, “and he accepted it on behalf of the Yankees. However, Timur receive no remuneration or recognition for his creation of this Yankees Top Hat Logo.”

    Buday claims his uncle didn’t even know the Yankees were using his logo until he emigrated to New York City in 1947. He claims that in that year, “Mr. Webb, on behalf of the Yankees, commissioned Timur to revise the Yankees Top Hat Logo in anticipation of the fact that in 1952 the Yankees would celebrate 50 years based in New York City. Again Timur complied.”

    Buday claims his aunt and uncle “had trust and confidence in the Yankees” and believed that this time, at least, “Timur would receive remuneration for his Yankees Top Hat Logo artwork.”

    But it didn’t happen. Buday says that Timur, a man of “modest income,” could not afford to take on the Yankees to claim remuneration or credit for his designs. Timur did ask twice, in the 1950s, “for recognition and remuneration,” but the Yankees blew him off, Buday says. So, “With his limited resources, Timur was unable to pursue his claims against the rich and powerful Yankees.”

    Buday says he has researched this issue since 1995. His documentation – included in the 28 pages of attachments – includes an analysis of the logo by an art expert.

    Buday demands punitive damages for common-law copyright infringement, conversion, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and an accounting.

    He is represented by Kevin Mulhearn of Orangeburg, N.Y.

    More on this from the Post

    A Yonkers woman is accusing the Yankees of pulling off a major-league rip-off.

    In a suit filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court, Tanit Buday claims the Bronx Bombers copied their famed top-hat logo from a design dreamed up by her late uncle in 1936 at the request of then-Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert.

    Buday, 63, is seeking unspecified damages for copyright infringement, unjust enrichment and breach of contract with her uncle, Kenneth Timur.

    She’s also attempting to rewrite the history of the Yankees’ signature emblem, long credited to the late sports artist Henry Alonzo “Lon” Keller.

    Allegedly stolen in 1930s.Yankee spokeswoman Alice McGillion said “there’s no proof” of Buday’s claim.

    “This is a wonderful country,” said McGillion, “where anybody can sue for anything, even when the allegations are over 70 years old.”

    Hey, maybe Howie Spira has some dirt on Tanit Buday and her family? Oh, never mind….

    Comments on Did Yanks Steal Bat In The Hat?

    1. MJ Recanati
      April 20th, 2011 | 10:01 am

      I have no idea if this suit has any merit to it but I do find it somewhat absurd that a 63-year-old person waits until now to file a claim. Where ya been the last 40+ years?!

    2. Evan3457
      April 20th, 2011 | 11:08 am

      I wonder if they even have a valid claim, if the Yanks have been using the logo for over 70 years without the originator filing for a copyright.

      I don’t really know the law, but this might fall under public domain (for the team against the Budays, I mean, not for you and me against the Yankees, who I’m sure trademarked and/or copyrighted the logo a long time ago). In fact, if the Yanks have a federal trademark on the logo, they are presumed to be the owner of the mark, and it is the Budays who have to prove the Yanks stole it, and or, promised to pay Kenneth Timur for it and didn’t.

      P.S. This article is badly written. Del Webb didn’t own the Yankees in 1936. He didn’t buy his share of the Yanks until 1945.

    3. Evan3457
      April 20th, 2011 | 11:10 am

      The Yanks will probably dismiss this, or if they think they might lose, they’ll settle it for some sufficiently large sum without admitting anything to make it go away.

    4. April 20th, 2011 | 11:14 am

      She’d have a better shot at getting millions from the Yankees if she were a relief pitcher free agent with a bum shoulder.

    5. Jim TreshFan
      April 20th, 2011 | 11:19 am

      Why stop with the Yankees? Why not sue Beginners Books as well? Obviousy the title “The Cat in the Hat” is a ripoff of “The Bat in the Hat.”

    6. 77yankees
      April 20th, 2011 | 6:55 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The Yanks will probably dismiss this, or if they think they might lose, they’ll settle it for some sufficiently large sum without admitting anything to make it go away.

      Or maybe Randy Levine and Lonn Trost pay her a visit and make her an offer she can’t refuse – LOL.

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