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A copyright lawsuit between Edina schools and the man who designed the district's hornet logo has been resolved, with the school board voting Monday evening to accept a settlement that involves joint ownership of the hornet with the artist who first drew it.

Since Edina adopted its green and yellow hornet logo based on a design by Michael Otto, the school district has asked Otto for permission for every new use — every jersey, T-shirt or other replication of the image the Edina graduate designed as part of a school contest in 1981. But after Edina took the logo to third-party apparel retailers without Otto's approval, the designer issued a cease-and-desist letter and then sued the district last year.

In a joint statement Monday evening after a closed meeting, the Edina school board and Otto said the terms of the settlement are confidential. No payment amount, if any, was disclosed. But the statement said the hornet is now jointly owned by the district and the artist.

"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 statement read.

Edina school officials did not respond to messages seeking comment Monday, and a staff member in Otto's attorney's office said their side was unlikely to comment on the matter.

The dispute started in 2019, when Edina went to a third-party vendor to make hornet-adorned sweatshirts and T-shirts without first running it by Otto. In his complaint, Otto said he told Edina it was violating its contract with him.

Otto said in 2021 that he greenlit almost every request, but balked at those that primarily stood to make someone else a profit — especially if they were not local.

In 2021, a district spokeswoman said Otto's process restricted the number of vendors the school could choose from, as most are for-profit enterprises and the lowest price may not come from a local company.

Otto said he did not seek payment from the district for use of the logo, beyond the occasional T-shirt or other hornet-adorned item.

Since 2021, Edina has limited its use of the hornet, replacing the scowling stinger with a yellow 'E' on new sports uniforms. The district even discussed hiring a designer to draw up a new logo.

Otto filed the lawsuit alleging copyright infringement and breach of contract in January 2022. He sought a preliminary injunction to block Edina from using the hornet mascot while the case played out.

A federal judge denied Otto's motion for an injunction. While the ruling did not address how likely Otto was to win, it warned, "this dispute will likely be fact intensive, such that discovery will have a meaningful impact on the outcome of the various claims."

Just after Thanksgiving, Otto's attorney filed a letter stating that the designer and the district had come to a settlement agreement. Edina's school board had been set to meet in early January to discuss a resolution, but the meeting was delayed until this week.

"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," the statement from Otto and the district read.