Ravens plan to let down helmet shield

Pants-pocket mark chosen new primary logo

club still appealing court loss

February 13, 1999|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

The Ravens are planning to modify the look of their uniforms, starting with the primary logo that produced a defeat in the courtroom last fall.

For the past three seasons, Ravens players have worn helmets that featured a shield sporting wings, with a "B" at its center. That is about to change, since a federal jury found Nov. 3 that the Ravens copied that logo from an amateur artist who could collect more than $10 million in damages because of copyright infringement.

The team, which along with the NFL is appealing the verdict, plans to replace the shield with the secondary trademark that players have worn on the front pocket area of their pants. That shield, which resembles a police badge, is partitioned into quarters and occupied by a "B" and "R" and a "cross buttony" stylized cross found on the 17th century seal of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore and founder of the Maryland colony.

"We're doing nothing official with it until we can make sure we've been legally cleared to do so," said team president David Modell. "We're also working on some alternatives for the pants. We're far along. I'm waiting on NFL Properties."

Frederick E. Bouchat, a 33-year-old security guard who draws in his spare time, sued for $10 million in damages, plus whatever profits the team has made from the use of his design. That could mean any money made from selling any hat, T-shirt, football or other souvenir that has the winged logo.

"We're still appealing. We feel we've done nothing wrong," Modell said. "But the [appeals] process is so lengthy. I don't feel my team should go into battle under a contested mark."

Pub Date: 2/13/99

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