SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The Philadelphia Phillies have filed a lawsuit to keep their popular mascot — the Phillie Phanatic.

Yes.  Keep their mascot.

Reuters reports the team filed the federal complaint Friday in Manhattan accusing Brooklyn firm Harrison/Erickson Inc. of reneging on a 1984 agreement that would let the team use the mascot “forever.”

The Phanatic debuted in 1978.

The Phillies argue they have spent millions of dollars to promote the mascot and obtained several trademarks featuring the mascot.

The team said the Brooklyn firm threatened to end the team’s ability to use the Phanatic next June, making it available for another team to use.  The Phillies also say the firm said it would sue for copyright infringement unless the team renegotiated its 1984 agreement and paid it millions of dollars.

The Phillies said it paid out $215,000 in that 1984 agreement.

Bonnie Erickson, one of the defendants, had worked for Jim Henson.  She created characters like Miss Piggy and the balcony hecklers Statler and Waldorf.

Neither party offered Reuters any comment on the lawsuit.

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