The Supreme Court declined yesterday to hear a Maryland case in which a state security guard claimed that the Baltimore Ravens copied its original logo from his sketches, clearing the way for the amateur artist to pursue millions of dollars in damages.
The Ravens had sought a review of the case brought by Frederick E. Bouchat of Pigtown, who convinced a federal jury in 1998 that the Ravens' former bird-and-shield logo replicated a drawing he had made months before the team's name and logo were announced.
The court's decision not to hear the team's appeal allows Bouchat, who originally sought $10 million in his lawsuit, to continue pursuing damages. A trial is scheduled for next May in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to determine how much money he should receive.
In a statement, Ravens' officials said they were "disappointed, but not surprised" by the court's decision. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., upheld the original jury verdict last year. The appellate court also rejected a request for a rehearing before the full court.
"The Ravens had no knowledge of Mr. Bouchat or his artwork prior to our approval of the NFL Properties' design," Kevin Byrne, the team's vice president for public relations, said in the statement. The team adopted a new logo in 1999.