Battle buzzing over 40-year-old Hornet logo in Edina

Michael Otto created the Edina Hornet logo in 1981, but now he's filing a cease-and-desist letter to the school district.

Its fierce stare and savage stinger can be found on everything from T-shirts to stadiums, but the 40-year-old Edina Hornet logo may soon be extinct.

In a statement posted to their website, Edina Public Schools says it recently received a cease-and-desist letter this spring from the logo’s creator and Edina High School alum Michael Otto.

"This was created with love for the community and I’m trying to protect it with love for the community," said Otto.

Otto’s design was the winner of a contest in 1981 that the school district put on when Edina East and Edina West merged.

"When I drew it, I wanted something that not only I was going to be proud of, but that would stand the test of time," said Otto.

Otto later registered the logo with the U.S. Copyright Office. For decades, he has permitted the school to use the logo with some limitations, until he claims EPS didn’t get permission from him before allowing a company to sell merchandise with the hornet logo on it.

"It’s not having control for control sake. It’s making sure that the logo isn’t misused or disrespected," said Otto.

"Since receiving the cease and desist letter, the District has attempted to negotiate a more permissive agreement or obtain full rights to the copyright. So far, these attempts have been unsuccessful," said Edina Public Schools in their statement.

Otto maintains he hasn’t gotten a dime from Edina Public Schools for his logo, and all he really wants is respect for the green and gold. He tells FOX 9 he is still open to working with the school district on a compromise.

For now, the district plans on using "the widely-known Edina block-style E" for any new apparel or uniforms.

The school colors and the Hornet mascot aren’t going anywhere though, and if EPS needs to come up with a new alternative, the community will be able to participate in the process.