Edina Schools allowed to keep using hornet logo after settlement with designer

Edina Public Schools said last year it would stop using its current 40-year-old hornet logo after a lawsuit was filed against the district.

Edina schools leaders say the district has reached an agreement with the creator of its hornet logo to allow the school to continue the use of the mascot after a legal battle.

In a statement on Monday, the district says it has reached a settlement over a copyright lawsuit brought by the former student who designed the logo.

Previously, the superintendent announced in January 2022 that the school would stop using its decades-old mascot after the lawsuit brought by the designer Michael Otto. The decision followed Otto sending a cease-and-desist notice to the district in June 2021.

Otto's design became the Edina logo in 1981 after he won a contest when Edina East and Edina West merged. Otto later registered the logo with the U.S. Copyright Office, but allowed the district to continue using the logo with some limitations. Until he learned the district had allowed a company to sell merchandise featuring the logo without his permission.

Last year, Edina school leaders said they would begin the process of removing the logo but said they would continue to negotiate with Otto. Monday night, the district announced they had reached a settlement.

"While the parties had significantly different perspectives on the dispute, after years of royalty-free use of the logo, both parties recognized that finding common ground and a cooperative outcome benefited all stakeholders and their shared community, much more than ongoing litigation," the district said in a statement on Monday. "The Hornet logo and related copyright rights are jointly owned by the parties."

"Both parties are pleased with this amicable resolution," the district added. "The terms of the settlement are confidential. The parties look forward to the opportunity to use the Hornet logo to continue the 40+ years of legacy and pride built up with students, alumni and the community in the Hornet logo."