A Toronto man has filed a lawsuit against the city over the illuminated TORONTO sign at Nathan Phillips Square.
Bruce Barrow claims he came up with the idea and pitched it to the city in a confidential business proposal. He says he didn’t receive acknowledgement or compensation for the idea.
A statement of claim was filed by Toronto IP lawyer John Simpson seeking damages for misappropriation of confidential information and breach of confidence.
Along with the city, the suit also names Mayor John Tory, Councillors Josh Colle and Michael Thompson.
His lawyer alleges that Barrow conceived of the sign structure in 2009 when he “saw that the city needed a new, iconic visual brand identity to enhance its international reputation and civic pride.”
The claim alleges that, in 2013, Colle invited Barrow to present the details of the CityBrand concept. it included a conceptual depictions of a large TORONTO sign with Nathan Phillips Square listed as a preferred location.
The sign was unveiled in July 2015 during the Pan Am Games and almost instantly became the most recognized brand icon for the city in decades and captured worldwide media attention and social media buzz.
Barrow is seeking $1.75 million in damages for misappropriation of confidential information and breach of confidence, $750,000 in punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages.